Monthly Archives: August 2015

Social Media Strategy Optimisation Intensive Workshop Session 1

After receiving the highest rating for content and delivery of any presenter for this subject by Pacific Conferences I decided that it might be good to share some of presentation and and what I learned from the participants. I will start with a Case Study and then share two discussion points. The blog is based on this slide presentation:

http://www.slideshare.net/PRDA/social-media-in-2015-and-beyond-prda-douglas-white-july-2015

Organic reach is decreasing as changes to algorithms that determine what is seen in your newsfeed is adjusted to “advertise” the social media business model. Therefore, it is critical for success to fully leverage the most out of our social media strategy and the tools available. Approximately 9 out of every 10 companies that ask me to measure their social performance score below 20% effectiveness. With salaries of skilled employees rising along with advertising rates, more companies are starting to ask the right question: Where has the other 80% effectiveness gone?

Case Study: Star Trek

The original series was delivered by Desilu Studios to NBC from 1966 – 1969. At that time TV was using demographic tracking and market share to measure success. Despite high quality demographics, it lacked market share and so was cut. In syndication it continued to be driven by loyal demographically targeted fans and is still a major hit 40 years later.
star trek combined small.

Morale to the story is to focus on your correct demographic and deliver quality content and they will deliver ROI!

Discussion Point 1:

Communications is changing less than it appears. Even though it seems that there has been a dramatic shift in the way we communicate it has really changed little. It is more that the bits have shifted about than the fundamentals have changed. We used to read on paper and talk over the phone and share stories at cocktail parties. Now we read our news online, talk using messaging apps and share our stories on social media. What decided what originally made it to print, phone or cocktail party are still the same factors that drive online, messaging apps and social media. The only way to get talked about is to either pay for it or earn it. To earn it you need to popular, trustworthy, scandalous or another factor that basically involves getting sufficient enough interest from others to get tongues wagging. And depending on how you managed this you ended up on the Washington Post/ Huffington Post, Phone/ Whatsapp or cocktail parties and social media.

Morale of the story is that the fundamentals of communication remain constant. Technology shifts how we use and execute communications, but when approaching a new app, don’t look at it is was completely foreign. Remember the basics and learn the enhancements. It is easier to move forward with confidence if you don’t forget where you have been.

Discussion Point 2:

Effective communications is not a matter of either quantity or quality (usually interpreted as creative). PRDA has conducted research for the better part of a decade and found what determines how well received a brand’s content is depends more about science and process than either quantity or quality (creative). As algorithms become more refined to better process the trillions of posts made daily on social media it is necessary for social media applications and those that look to source and share content to use more refined search techniques. Example: a few years back if you posted a picture of a cat the algorithm that chose what would appear in your news feed let most everyone see it. But now that we all have 1000+ Friends and Page Likes on several apps with businesses posting 1000’s of posts a day that in February of 2014 it was estimated that there were 3.8 million cat pictures posted each day. Clearly the algorithms can’t put 3.8 million pictures of cats in your news feed each day. The algorithms became more sophisticated taking in to account other Social Media Optimisation factors such as keywords, length of message, quality of image, performance of person posting, engagement levels, time of day and more.

Morale to the story is that to be successfully seen in Organic results (real people) quality needs to be interpreted beyond creative to include Social Media Optimization (SMO). By using this strategy you can publish more messages across more platforms and achieve greater engagement and with further refinement by monitoring results data you can start to achieve customer segmentation and much more.

Much success,

Doug

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The real and dangerous consequences; Has Calvin Klein gone too far?

calvin-klein-brooke-shields

Calvin Klein (CK) has always built their campaigns around positive moments in our sexual cultural history and exploited them in the most negative of ways. But with rising HIV rates is it correct to promote high risk sexual behaviour? CK’s proven formula is simple but effective. Take a point in cultural history that can be supported and then twisted into something scandalous and usually sexual and plead naive innocence. There has been one exception when CK forgot to start with a culturally relevant premise. CK  used underage models scantily clothed and in highly erotic poses then realized their was no “naive” statement they could fall back too; “Oops you mean pedophilia is bad? We didn’t know.” Just didn’t cut it . But others of more lasting fame followed the same pattern of “We are just simple people making some nice pictures . . . ” This latest “same sex” campaign follows this pattern and I will explain later why it is most dangerous but first a little history.

In 1980 Brooke Shields was a very big film star and at age 15 she appeared in what seemed like an innocent enough ad for Calvin Klein jeans (see photo) but the tag line set the world ablaze. “Nothing gets between me and my Calvin’s”.  CK’s response was, more or less, “she appears on screen with less on so what exactly is wrong with the pictures?” True enough, but having Brooke tell the world that someone would, or would not get in her pants may have been naive for a 15 year old child, but was very well understood by the adult who wrote the line.

This was followed a few years later by Marky Mark’s (who at the time was a Pop star looking to move into movies as Mark Wahlberg) underwear ads which featured fresh faced Marky Mark in one of the first male underwear ads. It was again just innocent, but the effect was full on. The gay world could not buy enough boxer briefs and if it was left at that it would have been fine. However, Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg) at the time was strongly homophobic and that created, again, huge media scandal. Mr. Wahlberg went on record for using the “F” word in a response to a congratulations letter for his success from Elton John. Again we can say that at his young age Mark was naive, but the creators of the campaign new exactly the response to expect.

We now move to the latest campaign by CK where they are featuring the first same-sex advertisement ever. This seems like a very tame premise considering we have been witness to years of CK ads seeing gender blending in so many ways. I guess those were just orgies which is more pedestrian than the more progressive same sex ads they are now featuring. But again an innocent pretext with an scandalous hook. (Video) we see that it has little to do with same-sex rights making history and more about anonymous sex and hook up apps. As a gay man I have no issue with anonymous sex in fact I am on record as saying it is how we say hello. My issue is that under the thin veil of supporting same sex rights is the much more troubling consequence of HIV rates rising at a terrifying rate and the many other issues that come from high risk behaviour.

If CK is going to use this premise they should take responsibility and acknowledge early all that goes with it. The health, physical and emotional risks that come with random anonymous sex. This is no longer about mental imagery that comes from Brooke’s jeans or Marky’s boxer briefs. This is encouraging real world high risk behaviour and that has very real and immediate consequences. And as I stated in the beginning, whereas Brooke and Marky and myself at the time where too young to fully “get it” the creators of the campaigns understand very well, and now I am old enough to care.

Much success,

Doug

4 days, 2 Countries 9 industries: Intensive Social Media Strategy Optimisation Workshop

Mary Meeker daily use of stuff 700x400

I recently put a personal challenge to myself. I took on the task of designing and delivering an intensive 2 day social media strategy optimisation workshop for senior marketing members. Most who have asked me why I took on the task asked about the money or the potential contacts. I did not do it for either. With every thought leader at some time a healthy level of doubt should creep in as to whether what you are saying is really the truth. For me, unlike many other thought leaders in this emerging and quickly evolving industry of social/ digital, I am forced to deliver daily.  What I mean is that I have never had the luxury of deep pockets or forgiving clients. My knowledge came from almost 30 years of experience of hands on practical delivery and making smart, and sometimes really stupid, decisions tested against the world and validated with repeated success. Over this series of 9 blogs I am going to summarise what I taught, and more importantly what I learned. The areas covered will include but not be limited too (as I give myself the freedom to innovate or get losts as I choose).

  • Session 1: Social Media in 2015 and Beyond
    • Link so session 1 on Slideshare: http://ow.ly/QFolY
    • What we can learn from the past that will continue into th future
    • Evolution of human behaviour
    • Evolution of technology
    • The interaction of people, content and technology
  • Session 2: Social Media Competitive Analysis and Benchmarking
    • Identifying real KPI’s
    • Determining if competitors are really competitive or just smoke and mirrors
    • Developing a strategy of success based on truths and not perceptions
  • Session 3: Optimising Your Social Media Strategy
    • All the cogs in the machine that make it run
    • Social media is more science than art but,
    • Looking good is never a bad thing or not winning the ugly contest
  • Session 4: Content Editorial and Creation
    • The true test – do you publish for yourself or for your customers
    • Can a picture truly paint a 1000 words
    • How much can you communicate in .25 seconds?
  • Session 5: Brand Publishing
    • The concept of reticular
    • Identifying the key links that make the strategy grow
    • Different platforms, different purpose, same message
  • Session 6: Social CRM and Engagement
    • The 4th most demanded KPI is customer service response
    • Reputation management
    • Take care of #1 your customer
  • Session 7: Lead Generation and Social Selling
    • All those Fans and all that data and no ROI? Let’s change that
    • Predatory marketing strategies for positive lead generation
  • Session 8: Social Data Analytics and Reporting
    • It is ALL about the numbers

I hope that over the next weeks of summarizing and elaborating on these sessions I can stimulate some good conversations  and provide some insights that may be new or at least question the current path of social/ digital strategy.

Much success,

Doug