Social Community Management Tips: Tried. Tested. Shared.

Community Management

Post by @itsmeltuvell What’s the ULTIMATE goal for brands and social marketers? If you didn’t answer that with “a loyal, engaged community,” you might be missing out on a huge opportunity through your community management strategy. We’ve had our head in the game for 5 years (or 35 if you agree that social years are like dog years), so here are a few of our tried, tested, and true tips for rocking social community management.

1. Stay relevant. If you’re still marketing to your followers on Myspace, then we got problems. Building brand advocates and influencer’s starts with taking advantage of the conversations that are already happening online. There are so many opportunities & platforms to jump into conversations and engage with your audience using social – they’re talking to you, and you need to be where they are.

2. Get creative. Here’s an example of excellent listening and engaging that proves a little goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to get creative with how you interact and engage with your audience and let your personality shine through.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.11.05 PM 3. Don’t “set it and forget it.” Social never sleeps, and a recent study shows that 53% of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within one hour. If you schedule your posts in advance, that doesn’t exempt you from keeping your finger on the pulse and monitoring the conversation. It’s still moving, even if you’re not.

4. Read before engaging. One mistaken hit of the favorite button could land you in hot water. Although someone might tweet that you’ve made a “Top 10 List,” it could be a list of the top 10 worst brands ever in existence. Do you really want to be favoring that type of content?

5. Address the negative head-on. If you delete or hide a negative comment, it looks like you have something to hide, and likely someone will call you out, creating a bigger issue. Lean into the discomfort and own it. Your audience will appreciate you more for it.

6. Make sure to acknowledge the positive, too. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in the social world.

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7. Remember the “Golden Rule” (of social media, that is). Not familiar? Let’s review: delivering value when, where, and how your audience wants to receive it. Know your target audience so you can provide them your unique value offering with each post.

8. Be human. Getting too technical or being overly salesy can turn your audience off because it comes across as impersonal. Like we always say: Humans > Logos.

Have more tips to add to this list? Share them with us on Twitter.

World Cup Brand-Off

Post by @AlanaGolob

The World Cup may not begin until Thursday, but the showdown to win over football (soccer) fans around the world is well underway. The competition is fierce and brands are pushing the boundaries this year by essentially creating high production short films for their commercial spots. It’s not a surprise that brands are going all out, given that more than 3.2 billion people watched the live coverage of the 2010 World Cup, which was a 32% increase from 2006. It’s been entertaining, to say the least, to witness the heated competition between brands as they fight for viewership. Here’s a snapshot of the brand front-runners thus far. Although their products appear throughout each video, you forget you’re watching a commercial because you’re drawn to the compelling content – something each of these brands did so brilliantly.

Nike: “Last Game” 

With no surprise Nike came out of the gate strong in May with their “Winner Stays” video featuring Renaldo. Well, they are back and even stronger with their new five minute completely animated film, “The Last Game” that is already approaching 1 million YouTube views in the first 24-hrs.

Beats by Dre: “The Game Before The Game”

One of the most impressive campaigns (with more than 7.2 million views) I’ve ever seen is the campaign by Beats. It was visually stunning with Rio as the backdrop, included cameos from celebs/personalities, like Serena Williams and Nicki Minaj and beautifully showcased different pre-game rituals from people around the world. Well done, Beats, and thank you for the goosebumps.

Adidas: “House Match” 

“House Match” took the more humorous (and shorter) approach featuring current and past stars including, David Beckham who match-up against each other in Beckham’s home – which includes the destruction of his stocked trophy case. The video has already accrued more than 10 million views on YouTube since it was published on June 6th.

How do all these campaigns translate to social? It’s simple. Social has been the driving force for these campaigns leading up to the World Cup. With ad buys, athlete support, media coverage, and most importantly, outstanding content – these campaigns are making a huge splash amongst soccer and non-soccer fans.

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Here’s a quick glance at World Cup conversation volume thus far and how it continues to increase as we approach the end of the week.

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If you haven’t watched the new #WorldCup on Twitter video published by Twitter, I would recommend it. “Love every second.”

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ just days away, I look forward to what each of these brands have in-store for football fans around the world.

Back to Social Basics: Surprise and Delight.

Post by @ChelseaHartling

When you think of a brand that just nails it on social, what comes to mind? For us at Digital Royalty, one of the things we really tune into are the brands that do a great job of listening and connecting with their audience. Your engagement factor is often times what sets you apart from the rest, not to mention the fact that it’s also one of the best ways to build brand loyalists. Taking the time to build genuine connections is an underrated component that brands sometimes overlook in their social content strategy.

Embassy Suites recently saw a guest tag them on Instagram in a pretty funny post. His faithful Embassy Suites pen bit the dust after two years of consistent daily usage – anyone who has a trusty pen knows that the struggle is real. He took a photo and tagged the brand in a witty display of satirical devastation:

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It would have been so easy to overlook something like this, especially for a big brand. The differentiating factor here, is that Embassy Suites saw an opportunity to connect with this person through a surprise and delight, so they sent him a personalized note with a box of brand new pens. The result? One happy camper who took to the social space to sing Embassy’s praises.

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These are the types of situations that give brands the opportunity to go back to the basics of social. Something so simple like this helps build brand loyalists and makes a big brand like Embassy Suites stand out in the sea of sameness. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from our long list of marketing ploys and remember what social communication is all about: listening, engaging, and making genuine connections with your audience.

Reminder: social media, isn’t media at all – it’s simply communication, and truthfully, this type of engagement speaks volumes.

An Open Letter to the Twitter Mute Button

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Are you there, Twitter? It’s me, @chelseahartling.

Have I told you lately that you’re one of my favorite social platforms? I mean, I loved you before hardly anyone even knew about you, and besides Facebook you’re the longest social relationship I’ve ever been in.  You’ve given me an outlet to use my voice, and you constantly give me fast access to current events and up to the minute information on what’s happening all over the entire globe. In a generation where social media is the great equalizer, there’s no one like you.

My recent affinity for you comes in the form of your new Mute button. I think it’s brilliant. We all have friends or family that we follow on Twitter who annoy the living daylight out of us – but what can you do? You can’t unfollow your brother for tweeting too much about his love for a sports team you disdain. You can’t tell your best friend to shut up because her relentless tweets with cryptic Marilyn Monroe quotes overlaid on top of sunset pictures are driving you up a wall. You just have to take a deep breath and silently scroll past these posts without making a scene in order to preserve friendship and family ties. It’s a hard knock life for a Twitter addict.

But then you come to the rescue with a Mute button. Finally, a solution for all those people who constantly post deep and cheesy song lyrics, traumatically ruin TV finales, or #OnlySpeakInHashtags, without having to cut ties or offend people you actually enjoy in real life. It just seems so logical to me.

Some people wonder how the Mute button might affect brands. How will they continue to quantify reach if they get muted, or worse, not even know how many people have muted them? As long as you’re continuing to implement the golden rule of social media (providing value when, where, and how your audience wants to receive it) you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Of course, promoted tweets won’t be affected by the Mute button, so brands will continue to have to pull out their wallets if they want to ensure their most important content is being seen – but that’s becoming a norm across most platforms that we’re just going to have to come to terms with (looking at you, Facebook). #MakeItRain

The feature is still brand new, but I’m excited to see the potential of how it progresses. Maybe one day we’ll have the option to Mute for just a set amount of time (how great would it be to mute those people who live tweet TV shows or sports games you have to watch on a delay, just for one day?). Hopefully some day soon we’ll also have access to some analytics around this so brands and community managers can transform their content strategies to provide even more value to their followers. We’re only just scratching the surface with this update, and I truly believe it has the potential to change and redefine the space as we know it. Exciting!

In short, dear Twitter, props to you for having the guts to give the people what they want: a useful feature that will encourage others to use their online voices for good. #Winning.

Jump high-five,
@Chelseahartling

PS. Check out Amy Jo Martin’s recent interview with Fox News TV on how brands can avoid being muted, here.

A Google Game-Changer

Post by @AlanaGolob

GoogleHangout

Over the past couple of years technology has continued to shape how students process information and learn about new subject matters. It’s even impacted our business model with the evolution of our online education platform, Digital Royalty University, which has allowed us to scale our content to brands and individuals around the world.

Today marks the 21st anniversary of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” – but today, it was much different than the previous 20 years. For the first-time ever, Google partnered with Forbes and a variety of companies to take the experience online. Using Google Hangouts, Google delivered 18-virtual field trips for students around the country to “visit” inspiring workplaces. Field trips included a session from the NASDAQ floor to an inside look at the career of a filmmaker. Our partners from the Chicago White Sox (Nicole Saunches) and LPGA (Tina Barnes-Budd) were amongst the participants in a session on a career in sports marketing.

These virtual field trips bridged the barriers for students who may never have the opportunity to visit the inside of a Bulls locker room or travel to the LPGA Corporate Headquarters in Daytona. Students were able to ask these experts questions and gain valuable insight and inspiration for their future careers. Classrooms outside of the main participants could also tune-in and ask questions through the Q&A feature within the Hangout. It was really special to see the students get excited about participating. Not to mention, the professionals loved it just as much as the students. Equal value exchange.

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Imagine if this technology existed when we were in school? Would you have been inspired to explore another profession? Today made me even more excited to see where technology takes us and shapes the future of education. Thank you, Google for inspiring us all.

 

 

Help My Mom!

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We love our moms and we know you do too. BUT, don’t you sometimes wish you could put your mom’s social media usage on timeout? Us too. We’ve seen everything from accidental Facebook shares, to tweets that should be @replies. Hashtags? Don’t even bother! So, in honor of Mother’s Day and to show how much we care about all the wonderful mothers in our lives, Digital Royalty University is offering a helping hand through our “Help My Mom!” campaign.

We’re awarding three lucky moms a personal online session with a Digital Royalty University instructor to help them get their social media presence dialed in. Additionally, we will be selecting 30 additional moms to participate in an upcoming Digital Royalty University live social communications webinar and thanks to our friends at FlowerShop.com, those 30 mom’s will also receive a $30 gift voucher to FlowerShop.com.

So, how can you nominate your mom? Use our hashtag, #RoyalHelp on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and include an example, a quick sentence, or if you’re really brave, a screenshot of a funny social media blunder your mom has made or you can nominate through the following form:

Whether it’s to help with understanding the difference between a public tweet or an @Reply, how to use Google Hangouts or FaceTime, or just some best practices on what to post and what not to post on Facebook (emphasis on what NOT to post), your mom will go through the same social communication training exercises that we’ve put Digital Royalty University graduates through for the past five years. Included with the one-on-one session is a Team Renegades toolkit: a Digital Royalty t-shirt, an autographed copy of The New York Times Bestseller Renegades Write The Rulescomplimentary access to the suite of our online social communication classes and a $100 gift voucher for a flower arrangement from FlowerShop.com. 

Incase you’re looking for some examples of social media blunders, here’s a few for you:

Help My Mom Learn Social Media

The winners will be selected and announced on Thursday, May 8. Lastly, we’re hooking you all up with a 50%-off promotion code for our Digital Royalty University classes and a $15 gift voucher to FlowerShop.com so that you can give the gift of education (and pretty flowers) to your mom this Mother’s Day. Use the code “HelpMyMom” at checkout on Digital Royalty University and FlowerShop.com to redeem. Offer expires on May 11.

Together we can turn your mom from a social newbie into a social rockstar.

#RoyalHelp 

Cheers to 5 Years and Many Lessons

Lessons-Learned

By: Amy Jo Martin

Digital Royalty just turned five! In social years, which is like dog years, that’s more like 35 years old. As we approach our 5th anniversary as entrepreneurs, we realize there are some things that we wish we knew back then that we (kind of) know now when it comes to entrepreneurship:

1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. When you start your company, there will be a thousand things each day that you’ve never done. That’s okay.

2. Beware of shiny object syndrome. More companies fail from lack of focus vs. lack of business.

3. Your team is everything. Spend a great deal of time making sure the right people are on the bus and in the right seats.

4. Entrepreneurs tend to wait too long to hire and too long to fire.

5. Just because you can do it all, doesn’t mean you should. Realize what you’re uniquely qualified to do and delegate or outsource the rest as soon as you can.

6. Don’t forget why you started your company. Remind yourself daily. (Or hourly if needed!)

7. Being an entrepreneur is like the Chicago weather. If you don’t like the way something is going, wait 15 mins. It will change.

8. Your plan is important but accept the fact that it’s going to change and you will need to adapt.

9. When recruiting and interviewing talent remember this rule as you evaluate candidates: If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.

10. You can’t turn your business off, but if you don’t take time to go off the grid every once in awhile your business will suffer.

11. Focus on the long game. Society has romanticized start-ups that burst overnight – yet, that’s not the norm. Steady as she grows.

12. A diverse support system is critical. You’re going to need more than just family and lifelong friends. It’s lonely at the top.

13. You can color outside the lines without crossing the line. Disruption and destruction create two different outcomes.

14. When we practice humility, our growth is accelerated.

15. The people you choose to do business and the people you decide not to do business with will be the important decisions you make.

16. Celebrate lessons. Lessons + blessings = Blessons. Accelerate the process of learning by sharing mistakes.

17. Try to learn the difference between when to make things happen vs. letting them happen. Gas vs. brakes.

18. Always call people back and return emails. Figure out a system for doing so if you’re “too busy.” It’s worth the time and effort.

19. A five-degree shift changes your entire trajectory.

20. Read outside the box. Don’t just read your industry trade articles. Explore beyond.

21. The company can’t love you back. Logos don’t have feelings. Your team and partners have a human capacity but your logo does not. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t passionately dive in head-first, just manage your expectations.

22. There’s a big difference between true business partnerships and vendors. Alignment is key for longevity. Transactions are short-lived.

23. Find a team of mentors and make sure you’re coachable. Then return the favor and mentor others.

24. Your hustle factor is often your differentiating factor. Work hard.

25. Where passion, purpose and skill collide, bliss resides.

This post originally published on AmyJoMartin.com

#HudsonRules and So Does Social Media

Post by @AlanaGolob

Last week I witnessed first hand the true force of social media when people come together for a single cause. I was in Vegas at the dR corporate headquarters and received a call from my husband in Scottsdale telling me that Hudson got out of the house and his collar wasn’t on. Being miles away, I felt extremely helpless and feared the worst as my husband and my friend searched the entire neighborhood for hours looking for Hudson.

Fortunate for me I work with an incredible team of people who dropped everything they were doing to help me track down Hudson using the best tool at our disposal, the internet. Thanks to Amy Jo’s suggestion, I started posting photos of Hudson on my personal accounts as well as the Digital Royalty accounts – encouraging people to help spread the word. Amy Jo took to Twitter using the hashtag #FindHudson, while tweeting every Arizona shelter, news station, anchor, oh – and even encouraging Arizona Cardinals pro football star, Larry Fitzgerald, to help us spread the word. This is a perfect example of how influence can be scaled for good.

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I was completely humbled by the overwhelming support of past co-workers, old high school friends and hundreds of complete strangers on each social channel. People genuinely wanted to help find Hudson and I couldn’t be more grateful of their support.

Below is a graph to illustrate the social impact. On the day Hudson went missing there was a significant spike in online conversation. More than 70% of the total conversation surrounded keywords associated with Hudson and the highest amount of mentions originated from Arizona and Nevada.

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While my co-worker/friend, Erinn Ray, searched the internet to find the most useful resources to find lost pets, she came across the site, Lost Dogs Arizona and joined. Within minutes they posted a Facebook post on their page with a photo of Hudson. Then a complete stranger (thank you, Susan!) stumbled across the post of Hudson, searched Craigslist and found a lost/found ad with an exact description of Hudson. As I boarded my flight home to Phoenix, I received a call from Susan telling me about the listing and giving me a phone number to contact the people who had Hudson the whole day. (Helpful tip for pet owners, always look on Craigslist first to see if anyone found your pet. Who would have thought?! Not me.) 

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Thankfully this story had a very happy ending thanks to the internet and the kindness of each person who played a helpful role. All of us at Digital Royalty had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment from this experience and were further reassured of why we’re in the business that we are in. Social communication is a scalable, unstoppable force without limits when we work together to combine our influence for a good cause. If we can find a lost dog using social media, just think if we used that influence to help find missing children? Food for thought.

My key takeaway from this experience is first and foremost that there are still tons of really, really great people in the world. Secondly, the internet can be a beautiful thing when it’s used to help people. And lastly, it sometimes pays to be that obnoxious dog owner that constantly posts photos of their dog on the internet…#HudsonRules. Hey, even dogs need personal branding (wink-wink).

A big THANK YOU to everyone was involved and supported. Watch the news segment on 12 News by anchor, Bryan West. If you’re a pet owner, there’s some helpful tips about how to use social media to find a lost pet.

 

Humanization Leads to a Hole in One

Post by @AlanaGolob

When brands lead their social media strategy with humanization, it often leads to successful results. The LPGA has made a commitment to humanize the players of the Tour through on-going Digital Royalty University education, regular communication meetings with select players and their willingness to take risks within the social space. And their efforts aren’t going unnoticed (read espnW article). The LPGA used last weeks Founders Cup Tournament as the perfect opportunity to go big and give fans exclusive access into the tournament and exposing the players through the following social event activations:

 

 

1.) Google+ Hangout with Jessica Korda:  The LPGA hosted their first-ever Google+ Hangout with superstar golfer, Jessica Korda live from the Founders Cup. The Hangout was hosted by the LPGA’s Chief Communication Officer, Kraig Kann, alongside Stanford Golfer (and our Royal Intern), Danielle Frasier and golf blogger Neil Schuster. Fans had exclusive access to Jessica for 45-minutes to ask questions through Twitter and the Google Hangout Q&A feature directly on the Hangout. Watch the full Hangout, here. Big hit.

LPGA Instagram Takeover

2.) Instagram Takeover:  Instagram takeovers are a great way to give a look into the average day of someones life through photos and videos. LPGA golfer, Danielle Kang took the “keys to the castle” of the LPGA Instagram account and gave fans a sneak peak into her life, which even included a round of golf with Bruce Jenner and her recovery session off the course.

Side note: Keep an eye on our Digital Royalty Instagram account, as we plan to do #dRRoyalTakeovers on a regular basis to give you a look into what we’re up to.

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3.) #LPGAGolfie:  Taking the selfie to the next level, the LPGA is using GoPro’s to capture a unique perspective from each of the tournaments by placing a GoPro in the bottom of a golf hole. These #LPGAGolfies are captured by using the timer setting on the GoPro combined with the wifi feature on the camera that connects to the iPhone app. Pretty rad, right? We think so.

To help further inspire the game of golf, GoPros are also being used to give fans an up-close vantage point to players swings and putts on the course. Here’s a look at golfer Karrie Webb teeing off.

4.) #LPGAMeetUp:  The LPGA hosted their second player meet-up with Azahara Munoz at the Founders Cup. Fans were able to find out the location and the time of the #LPGAMeetUp by following the LPGA social media accounts. The first fans to arrive had a chance to win SkyBox tickets to the tournament, as well as meet Azahara. When fans are able to meet their favorite players all because of social media, it’s a beautiful thing and they instantly rise the fan ladder.

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Interested in learning more about event activation strategies? Give our Digital Royalty University class, “The Art of Event Activations” a spin. It will walk you through how to develop your own storytelling strategy and execute social media stunts.

The Voice of the People

Post by @AlanaGolob

The strength of social media is that it gives everyone and anyone the platform to have a voice and make it heard. It’s scalable, it’s impressionable and it’s impactful. Social media doesn’t discriminate, you don’t have to be a celebrity or a congressman to be heard. We all have the ability to own our voice if we chose to do so.

For those of you not aware of the recent controversy in Arizona, the SB 1062 Bill was proposed that would have allowed individuals/business owners to refuse to serve customers based on religious grounds, i.e. the right to discriminate based on sexual preference or marriage views.

What did the people do when they heard about the new bill? They turned to the internet to express their opinions on the bill. Floods of tweets and Facebook posts poured in and people updated their avatars with statements expressing support for equality. I think we can all agree that Arizona took a slight PR hit this week.

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#SB1062, “Jan Brewer” and “Arizona” were all trending on Twitter and Facebook for most of the afternoon. There are more than 63,000 posts including the hashtag #SB1062. 

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Amongst those posts included official statements from the MLB and the NFL even went as far as to threaten to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona next year.

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Influencer and regular activist, Sophia Bush rallied her more than 1.5 million combined followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help spread the message of equality.
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.19.51 PMCorporate America also stood up to Arizona lawmakers and joined the fight against the bill via statements including Apple, Delta, Petsmart and others – which also sparked conversation on Twitter and was covered on several major media outlets.

Gov. Jan Brewer also turned to Twitter to share the outcome of the bill minutes after she publicly announced the veto through a televised press conference.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.34.25 PMWhen the veto was announced, what did the people do again? They turned to social media and this time around their posts had a slightly different sentiment.

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We’ve seen this time and time again with social communication channels. When controversy arises, people turn to the internet to express their opinions, whether to spark a revolution in Egypt or lobby to bring back their favorite latte.

What does this new way of communicating suggest? That perhaps the government should evolve it’s procedures and practices. Yes, I realize it’s not a new concept to suggest that the government is operating with an outdated model – but what if the government turned to the internet (the people) to crowdsource bills and collect votes vs. the senate? It seems to be an effective practice for the people and brands around the world that are turning to the social space to improve their value offering and build lasting relationships.

Power to the people!