Tag Archives: China

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 What decided what originally made it to print, phone or cocktail party are still the same factors that drive online, messaging apps and social media.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

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

Slaying the Giant: How to Beat Facebook’s Algorithm

D and G

Facebook has done it again. Two months ago they stated that they would cut off Organic Reach for business pages. Then last month they announced that Facebook would change on March 12, 2015 the way Likes, Comments and Shares were tracked and that there would be less of them. It is unclear how you can count a physical action and come up with two different answers, but apparently Facebook can and they decided the number is going to be less. But never fear there are always opportunities for smart people that are willing to do the work. Facebook wants us all to take the easy route, the paid advert route, but that is a slippery slope with no possible chance of return.

Defying gravity:

March 12 the big Doomsday for Likes, Comments and Shares which are the primary factor that influences Reach came and went with little fanfare or scary happenings. In fact a local client of PRDA showed significant gains before and after, actually defying what was assumed to be the inevitable

Post Reach

EA FB  Post Reach March 2015

Total Reach

EA FB Total Reach March 2015

So how do you accomplish this?

Social media has become more science than social over the years and this has never been truer than now. To filter through the enormous amount of content the algorithms in social apps are becoming ever more complex to select what you might like to see best. There is also the issue of money and the increasing focus on paid advertising for revenue. Between these two forces it is almost impossible to achieve good views anymore.

But it can be done!!

SEO tricks of keyword optimisation, formatting and proper publishing at the right time of day can trigger the algorithms. PRDA works hard to determine what these triggers are and how to make them work for our clients. But if you are not an expert at SEO and social message optimisation then I recommend using advertising in a limited way. Putting small amounts of money behind a variety of your posts will help you achieve your reach goals and it will start to tell you what performs the best. Here is an example:

This client had a reach of 100 or less for each post. This was disappointing as it has 100,000 Fans. Something was not right. We started writing a range of different message and image combinations and put a small advertising budget behind them. Four different posts US$1.50 per day and this is what we achieved.

With an amount of about US$0.80 per day and optimised messages we increased the reach to 18,000 with the majority coming from Organic. The combination of good Organic methods and a small money boost made it shoot up. Facebook liked the fact we spend money, their algorithm like the content and between the two we got huge bonus value.

CND organic and paid reach FB post March 2015

Summary:

Over dependence on any one strategy is not always good. Trying to beat the system by tricking algorithms is time consuming and risky if you are not experienced. Sticking to paid advertising is a one way path to endless payments. Try balancing strategies to see if the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

Much success,

Doug

http://www.PRDA.Asia

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Granny’s getting her’s on Facebook: Demographic Targeting

Doug's Blog Granny Feb 20, 2015

The stories about the “Greying of Facebook” have been with us for quite sometime. The fact is that these stories are largely true. However, it is less about the demise of Facebook and more about the change in online behaviour, but most pundits don’t look too closely. The reasons are many such as the younger generations are using a wider variety of online apps to expand their digital experience and those that were first onto Facebook are quickly approaching a decade older. So much of the “Greying” is just biology. But then there is that the truly “older” are more active on social media largely because of increasing ease of overall use, sharing experiences with friends and family is common and as any activity becomes integral to our daily activities it reaches more people over time. But this is not the interesting part about Facebook getting older. What floats my boat is that the older generation are proving to be the most excited and active on Facebook. Marketers continue to focus on youth or the golden range of 24 – 45 earners. And if you want to get some BUZZ going you target the younger market. But it is getting clearer that Granny’s got the action!

Below are two profiles of Facebook pages from different industries showing the targeted Fans and the Fans that are really engaged. Let’s look at the fun stuff.

Profile 1: The business is well established and has a nice age range of Fans more women than men, but a much more natural distribution than Facebook’s. What we then see is who is showing the love.

PG FB Demo Jan 2015When it comes to engaging with content and being active in sharing, liking and building a community those with the senior citizen discounts are the big winners, 65+ rocks the charts.

PG FB Engaged Jan 2015

Profile 2: This next business shows a more gender balanced profile still nicely reflected along a wide age range. And though the increase in engagement for mature women is not as marked as the previous example is still shows a 100% over representation. That is, women age 55 – 65+ are less than 2% of the Fan base but engage at a rate twice that, 4%+. Where as across the board men’s engagement is under represented.

TGT FB Demo Jan 2015TGT FB Engaged Jan 2015
Summary:

While this blog is about Grannies getting theirs on Facebook, it is really about the larger message. Demographic targeting is critical to marketing success. Tools are available to see deeper into the brand interaction. No longer is assumptions and guesses necessary or allowed. It is fine to want a certain demographic as your Fan, but it is not fine to ignore those that really are your Fans.

Much success,

Doug

Founder www.PRDA.Asia

Demographic targeting: Ditch your friends and kick out anyone that can’t pay the rent!

Fan quality has been a topic long avoided until now. Engagement rates plunging and advert rates skyrocketing and self proclaimed  “social media experts” clueless how to respond.

Doug's Blog Feb 10 Demographics

The second biggest request I get from new clients is “How do we fix this sh**!”. What they are referring to is the 10’s or 100’s of thousands of Fans that clog their social profile and deliver no results. With Engagement rates crashing and adverts cost skyrocketing it is now a big concern to have dead weight on profiles. There was a time that companies paid agencies big dollars to treat social media like it was a huge party with hosted bar and everyone was invited. Come to my page, drink big, play big, no worries. But now that the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost and the companies are being handed a bar tab that looks like the debt of a third world nation and the only people left at the party are the dregs. They’re not thinking “did I invite them?” they’re thinking “who the hell let them in!” and then it becomes WTF! time.

My dad used to tell me the best way to get out of trouble is not to get into trouble to start with. Well he and I were never good on taking advice, but the message still holds true. Here are several ways to look at demographics to make sure you are getting the right audience and then followed by a case example.

  • Do NOT invite your friends! Most people the first thing they do is invite everyone they know to Like their page. Do NOT do this! Your friends already know what you do they don’t need to be cutting into your limited Reach provided by Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. A message only gets seen by small % of your Fans, make sure it is Fans that really should see it. Besides friends are famous for saying things like “stop posting so much, I already know what you do and I am getting tired of seeing your messages”. What!? you are in business to make money, not entertain your friends. Get them off your page and go buy them beer and pizza instead.
  • Contests and Freebies are bad for your page. There are 2 kinds of people in the world. Those with no time and lots of money and those with no money and lots of time. Which do you want your customers to be? If you picked the first then you have already answered this question. If you have a big giveaway where anybody can have a chance to win by running around town taking Instagram photos, tagging them and posting to your Facebook page. Which kind of people do you think will participate the most? Yes, the second type. The first type “your choice” is motivated by quality content, good service, consistent posting. Go ahead and have a big promotional event on social media. It is great for brand building and launching events and products. Just don’t have people Like your page as part of it. Trust me you want them to flit away after because I guarantee when you offer then next free thing, they will return. No sense having them camped out on your page just waiting.
  • Know  your demographic, you may think you know your customer, but do you really? I find all too often that clients want to prejudge who is their target market. And as a starting point that is o.k. but without ongoing review of the data and continually looking for new avenues to existing customers or create new opportunities (growth hacking) you will not be making the most of your effort and money. Case study:

The graphs below represented different views of a Hong Kong Pub’s demographic. The top graph looks like a Pub might. Heavy on on males skewing upward toward a nice pint of lager.

TGT FB Demo Jan 2015

This second graph shows who saw the posts most and it is clear that the women are far more represented than the Fan demographics would suggest.

TGT FB Reached Jan 2015

The third graph show the Fans that engaged with the posts (Like, Comment or Share) and the women population still shows strong gains over men.

TGT FB Engaged Jan 2015

Lastly we see the most impressive. Checkins are the holy grail of Facebook and Women are champs.

TGT FB Checkins Dec 2014

Summary:

Quality of Fans is more important than ever. The cost of marketing makes targeting the correct demographic critical. Social media for business has never been about any Fan for any reason, unfortunately too many poorly skilled or unscrupulous “social media experts” managed to convince many it was. Now is the time to focus and this is a good thing. Your Fans/ customers deserve your attention and in return will reward you.

Much success,

Doug

One world two systems: Three areas of divide Culture, Technology, Internal trade

These daze it seems all that it bright and sparkly either is news from China or made in China. We not all is a shiny and bright at it may seem. And no this is not a blog on the crippling smog in China. It is about something much more subtle but equally damaging. Please note that I am not making an indictment for or against China’s position I am merely going to describe it so business persons can make informed choices about commerce in or with China.Dougs Blog great firewall of china

Culture:

Last week I attended a Salon hosted by Marc and Chantall a highly respected branding agency. The topic was the phenomenon of travel of Mainland Chinese. 100 million Chinese travelled outside the country in 2014 and the numbers go up and up. What is more interesting than the huge numbers wanting to travel outside the country is there reasons. The top reasons presented at the Salon was to see and be part of different cultures. A holiday was to truly “leave China”. A few of the sights from the salon are here. This in itself is not curious as many tourists look to alternative holidays to escape the common, but none as many as in China. Now the queer bit, this same week Beijing announced that textbooks that portrayed Western lifestyle would be banned from schools as reported by the Business Insider. So the curiosity is why so many Chinese are eager to leave “China” and the government is willing to let them then what exactly is the purpose of censuring textbooks?

Summary: Chinese are crazy to leave their country and experience new things. The marketing opportunity is to capture this opportunity. The home court advantage is where you can really shine.

Technology:

The great “Firewall” of China has been in place since the beginning of Internet. It had been used to provide added benefit to China apps by limiting the effectiveness of other world apps. Baidu is the best example. For 10 years it was, for all intents and purposes, the only search engine in China. And with a business plan no more complicated than copy Google they still couldn’t find their ass with both hands tied behind their back. Some search engine. But Baidu was not built to be an effective search engine, it was designed to effectively filter and manage information. Google is now blocked in China including gmail and related apps. Instagram was the first app to have a native API to Sina Weibo, now shut down. Facebook has been shut out except for some rare opening that are more for show than use. Recently VPN traffic has been closed and now China is effectively  isolated from the digital world. Many have placed hopes on WeChat to reach the mainland audience and businesses are flocking to China agencies to help them set up and run WeChat accounts. What most don’t know is that without a Mainland China Business Registration your WeChat account will NOT reach the Mainland users. It is restricted to “Rest of world”. So as RenRen, Sina Weibo and Alibaba reach out to the West with IPO’s eager for new revenue sources, the China government says “It is a one way street going out only!”

Summary: China is a world unto itself. The only way to effectively reach China is through engaging with China travellers or to develop a separate strategy in China based exclusively on its digital norms and apps.

Freedom of Trade in China:

It is often a struggle for rest of world business to compete inside Mainland China. More than ten Years ago my boss at IBM made the statement “I can buy all the market share you want, but I can not earn you a profit”.  Whereas the finality of that statement might not have been completely true its message is clear and unchanged. Rest of world brands are finding narrowing margins and sliding sales as costs in China continue to rise and local brands enjoy better treatment and acceptance. An interview on Econsultancy with Clarins Head of Digital Julien Chiavassa describes clearly the challenges faced. The limited amount of sites to promote products form an almost monopoly that force ever higher tariffs as profits rise essentially neutralizing profit and incentive. From additional regulations, to limited sources for promotion and many other barriers, China systematically removes incentives to operate in China and it is getting worse not better. The direction China is taking is to replace rest of world brands with China brands. I have interviewed and talked to many rest of world brands, luxury, hotel, clothing, you name it and when I ask how are you “your company” doing in China. I am lucky if I get an “its ok”.

Summary:

If you are doing business in China for anything other than export, good luck.

Much success,

Doug

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Social Media Tips, Growth Hacking made easy: What Where and Why of #tags

Yesterday I attended a talk sponsored by Startups HK featuring Dave McClure, a true Internet guru, and he stated that the most important thing for a biz to do is scalable, repeatable customer acquisition on a profitable basis using multiple online platforms or #GrowthHacking. I am sure if he had more time he would have added CRM and retention. He also mentioned that it requires effective use of Technology and Psychology. However when I look back at the Tweets #daveinhk this very important last point seems to have been missed. I mention this because if you do not “Get” that social/ digital media is about the interconnectedness of Technology and Psychology then you are likely just pissing into the wind, people off and your money away.

I love #tags Dec 4, 2014

My agency PRDA has been combining deep knowledge of technology and online consumer behavior for 10 years. For the last 7 we have used the same proven process to deliver results that outpace any other agency. I have shared many times before and will continue to share our experience on simple to understand best practices for targeted customer acquisition and retention.

Growth Hack tip #tags why we use them and how to use them for different apps

#tags for 2 purposes:

  1. Aggregate conversations
  2. Facilitate indexing of high use search terms for more efficient processing for such functions, as SERP, Algorithm newsfeed selection, Trending and other database management functions

Whereas #tags can be used for fun or emphasis like “air quotes” they will not add value to your posts to the rule is to #knockthatshitoff

Aggregate conversations – Above I mentioned that I searched on Twitter for #daveinhk to see who and what people had Tweeted. can be useful for a number of purposes.

  • Curating a conversation. Finding what questions are being asked, which points seem to resonate by number of posts, etc
  • Tracking posts from multiple locations for to pull together later such as tagging pictures so that they can be easily found a reposted. This works well for games and competitions.
  • CRM – find out who is talking, identify potential leads, problems, key opinion leaders, new ideas and information
Dave McClure in Hong Kong for Startupshk

Dave McClure in Hong Kong for Startupshk

Facilitating Indexing – this is a fancy way of saying that it makes it easier for computers to keep track of important words (keywords). Words that have a #tag in front are looked at by applications e.g. Facebook, Twitter as more important just like Google puts greater value on some words (keywords). So it is in your best interest to select the best keywords to #tag, as the more often it is done by more people the more likely it will show up in News Feeds. Describing how all that algorithm stuff works is too much for this blog, or me for that matter, but if you follow these simple guidelines you will do well.

  • Pick words or phrases that you would search on if you were looking for something on Google. On Facebook and Twitter you can enter the #tag directly into the search bar and it will search for you. Ask yourself, is what shows up in the search related to your message? Does it show up enough to show it is important? I searched on #pickmynose and only got two results. This is not important enough. But when I searched on #doorknob there were a gagillion results. Clearly people are more interested in doorknobs than picking their noses.

#pickmynose Dec 4, 2014

Apps have different requirements and etiquette for #tag use

Using #tags on different apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Sina Weibo have different requirements. Here are some basic guidelines for use.

Facebook and Sina Weibo – #tags are used as part of the message. They are used to replace words that appear as part of the message in the example below. For Sina Weibo the #tag needs to go on both sides of the word. #tag#

#paulgerrard Dec 4, 2014
#sinaweibo Dec 4, 2014

Twitter #tags can be used in the post, but it is customary to add #tags to the end of messages to provide more search terms which helps to aggregate conversations.

#twitter dec 4, 2014

Instagram is the craziest. Outrageous number of #tags are used to help with search and description. This is primarily because Instagram does not have any good 3rd party apps or a desktop version to better manage content and so lots of descriptors (keywords) are turned into #tags. Please note that what looks acceptable on Instagram looks terrible on Facebook.

#instagram Dec 4, 2014
Summary

#tags can be an important tool for your social media/ digital marketing strategies. But like all things, understanding the how, what and why will take you further. PRDA uses this strategy effectively across multiple platforms for clients to intensify the result and produce additional value such as search and CRM.

Much success,

Doug

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency