In this weeks class we talked about Twitter usage for companies and used Eircom as an example as one of their marketing strategies KPI.
Companies are relying more often on the use of Twitter as a customer services tool, it is used to connect with their customers, beneficial for branding and brand loyalty, easier and more common to get feedback from customers about their product or services, it is a free marketing tool and help increase sales. It is also good for sharing company news with your customers and share promotions and offers. Tweets might go viral, therefore creating awareness and is an easy way to spy on competitors.
“Background: Eircom is Ireland’s largest telecommunications company controlling over 60% of the fixed line telephony market and 47.5% of the country’s 1.66m broadband subscriptions. Its subsidiaries Meteor and eMobile are both significant players in the mobile communications market.”
Eircom wants to show customers that they listen and respond to them promptly and personally, helping the firm to understand their needs. Their Twitter presence is part of the social media strategy within the organisation. Eircom has integrated their social channels into its marketing and content calendars. Eircom has assigned staff members to monitor social networking sites such as Twitter in order to track and address negative comments and queries made about and to the company. The social media customer care team consists of four full-time agents, who monitor and respond in social conversations across all their platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Boards.ie) on a daily basis.
Eircom’s team that are in charge of monitoring social media, are generally working for queries from 9:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday, these opening times were arranged based on feedback and demand but are very flexible towards this as Twitter is always on. The social media customer care team have various KPIs to measure their impact, progress and also ensuring a constistent customer service.
The firm has created a self-help centre for their customers and are also working on Youtube videos with tutorials. If a customer is unable to get the response they required through their self-help centre, then they are put into a new category and will be looked after by their tech support team. The agents in charge of their Twitter account must address to all responses within 20-30 minutes for each query received. They have realised that 70% of customers who have had interaction with them in the digital world have not contacted their call centres.
- The @eircom’s team deals with approximately 75 queries and escalations per week through around 320 tweets and direct messages.
- They use and track all their shortened links for the self-help tutorials and FAQs generate an average of 250 click-thrus to their support forum and website on a weekly basis.
- They receive an average of 1,200 visits per week on their forums.
- And a further 150 queries get resolved on Boards.ie, also on a weekly basis.
We received a visit from Stephen O’Leary, founder of O’Leary Analytics, this is an online media monitoring and analysis company, so if businesses want to know what is being said about their company, themselves, an event and competitors in the online media this is the place to go!
Stephen first explained to us what his previous work was and how he ended up founding O’Leary Analytics. He was first working for a company that sold software and he provided training for the clients, these clients tended to forget part of their training, lacked enough time to monitor their own media or found it too complicated. They requested that Stephen would look after this for them.
Stephen mentioned the process behind monitoring and explained the importance of keeping track on what’s happening on blogs, forums, news sites and, of course, all major social networks. He explained how companies can make a difference when they listen to what their customer say and not only provide answers but also realise the improvements they can make. The objective is to find a way to change the negative comments by some into a positive. Stephen emphasised that companies need to be actively responsive to criticism.
After talking about collecting data, he also talked about what is the best data to analyse, how to find out who is a companies biggest influencer and how wide their reach is. An example for this was about Superquinn sausages and how Brian McFadden generated a lot of buzz in a day by saying that the Irish community in Australia need their sausages. This message was re tweeted 91 times and the amount of people talking about it peaked greatly.
In addition to this, Stephen mentioned that almost everything can be measured, even sentiment analysis can be generated, but in Ireland this can be difficult as people tend to be a bit cynical when making comments online.
Stephen recommended a series of websites that can facilitate online media monitoring:
- Getting the cloud/tag words using http://www.wordle.net/ (pick up the positives) – great way to explain the client what people are saying about them.
- Google Alerts
- Social Mention
- Advanced Twitter Search
Having coverage in the newspapers is good, but after the day is finished the publication is gone, therefore it is important that this coverage is available online too. By listening and researching online conversations and spotting key influencers, creating interesting content and interacting with customers and other relevant people in the online world, a company can effectively enhance their business though online PR and achieve growth. Measuring these activities is possible and as a consequence businesses can benefit from Earned Media.
Press Release, the story about your product and service:
- Include keywords.
- Send to a media list such as www.irishpressreleases.ie.
- Use RSS buttons as it helps distribute the word.
- Use Photos: this is very important to include in your Press Release.
How to generating Online PR:
- Look at blogs and reviews, find out what bloggers can benefit your business if they talk about your product or service. People trust those blogs they follow and they trust reviews from previous costumers, send a product as a tool for a review that benefits readers. Knowing what is said about you is important as this will strongly influence future leads. Blog posts are a great way to generate awareness and improve SEO. Tip: Identify Bloggers using http://www.dublinblog.ie.
- Attending a press event that’s of relevance to blogger’s audience is a good way to contact new people.
- Creating Digital Media Kits, make sure it includes all the basic information about your company, mission statement, products and services, samples, statistics relevant to your products and industry, etc. Tip: using Dropbox to share documents and photos for free can make it cost effective.
- Having a websites and make sure that all earned media as well as paid media will link back to your owned media. It is important that people link back to your own content and having a website where people can find out more is expected.
- Social media releases: Whether you are writing a press release for traditional or social media, if your audience doesn’t find the content informative, useful or helpful, it will most likely fail.
- Flickr is a social media networking tool for PR, because it is always visual it is good for branding. You can share photos but also posters, charts etc.
- Developing relationships (Tweetup and Meetups): A tweetup is an event where people who Twitter come together to meet in person, like finally putting a name to a face, these events are a great opportunity to connect with the people in your network and share more than just 140 characters at a time. A Meetup Group is a local community of people in which a group hosts meetups and are face to face meetings that happen in real life between members.
- SlideShare presentations and e-books, companies try to get publicity and earned media via writing an e-books by getting people to sign up to newsletter.
- Like other media: Liking posts and pages, sharing content, subscribing to blogs, following others, joining groups are great ways to contact other people. Engagement is key in this, get as involved as possible.
- Flashmobs, some consider it a “dead strategy,” I don’t know about that but for sure it has been overused.
- Online contests: Social Media contests have gained popularity and can be a powerful tool for spreading a brand’s message. Digital marketers are finding that social media is great for holding online contests that increase awareness and engagement for consumer brands.
- Using podcasts, this involves recording a digital file that can be distributed online.
- And finally, use IAB measurement guidelines.
This week’s class covered earned media, also refered to as free media. This consists in publicity gained through non-advertising promotional efforts through things like press releases, PR agencies, contacting journalists and placing stories with news outlets.
It is considered free media for some because it also consists on worth of mouth as customers become the advertising channel. Third party recommendations from friends and contacts are more credible and transparent than paid opportunities.
How to gain “Earned Media”?
- When a business creates interesting content (owned media) on their blog, those blog posts are much more likely to be shared by your readers, becoming earned media.
- Same thing applies when messages are used on social media channels such as Twitter (with retweets) and Facebook (share button).
- This is a great tool for SEO. While the search engines love fresh content but more than that it is much more efficient when the content is being shared constantly, so the more times your owned media is shared, Liked, retweeted and posted the more valuable it becomes. Without owned media becoming earned media, the content created is not as valuable for SEO as it could be.
- Generating “PR” or “getting coverage,” people still trust what it gets broadcast or published by traditional media.
- Contacting high profile bloggers to write about the brand, service, product, etc.
One of the challenged of Earned Media is that once the content is available for the audience, businesses are no longer in complete control of their content. Much like social networking, earned media places the power of your brand in the hands of your consumers.
Monitoring Earned Media:
- Using TweetDeck allows you to monitor Twitter activity and follow up on any mentions and interactions related to the business.
- Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.
- O’Leary Analytics they focused on monitoring brands mentions in online publications, quantify and qualify the results of your PR efforts, nationally and internationally.
- Blog Statt. Blogger and WordPress provide a measuring tool as well.