Harnessing the Power of Specific Messages

There’s a common problem in communication of any kind, including the social web. Ask a vague question and you’ll likely get a vague response. But ask about something specific and the chances are the response is more passionate and detailed.

That’s an important rule to follow whether asking your child about their day in school or asking customers to interact on the social web. In Part 6 of Untangling the Social Web, the new study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, we demonstrate this exact point.

In an example about understanding metrics we see the incredible range of reactions to a series of videos. Two videos—one on table manners and one making a sandwich—draw tepid response. However, a video evoking the emotional power of Mother’s Day soars.

Businesses need to keep that in mind when creating messages for the social web. Find topics that are special—seasonal, emotional and specific—and you might see traffic spike. Tips like these along with exercises and discussion of wide ranging tactics for the social web can all be found in Part 6 of the study. Download it for free at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Success Begins with Knowledge

Any retailer—in fact, any business—only succeeds by knowing its customers. Especially in today’s data rich world, knowing what your customers like and dislike can help you gear your offerings to what they want to see and buy.

The same holds true for your social connections. The information you need is out there so get it and use it.

Part 6 of Untangling the Social Web, the newest study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, examines many of the key steps companies need take to have a successful approach to external communication on the social web.  A big piece of that comes from knowing the activity of your followers.

For instance: examine the demographics of your social web connections and compare those to your overall shopper base. Also, look at the demographics of your active followers in contrast to the inactive. The insights might help you better gear messages as well as which networks you use. Keep in mind that many social networking websites provide easy access to such information. You might have staffers who can help you through this process or you can find vendors to take on this task.

Exercises on issues like this can be found throughout Part 6 of the study. Download it for free at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

 

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who are you: Building Your Social Web Identity

Are you trying CCRRC Pt 6 Title Pgto figure out how to build your company’s profile on the social web?  Here are a couple of useful exercises for you and your team:

1.      Create a list of adjectives that describe your company. Are you helpful, easy, healthy, inexpensive…whatever? Certainly your shoppers and associates understand your identity and you need to capture that spirit.

2.     Imagine your company was entering the dating scene and you were using an on-line dating site. List those key attributes that describe you (likes, dislikes, etc.) and remember, honestly is important.

3.    Think in terms of images, as you must on Pinterest. What pictures demonstrate your company’s personality? Build a collage that captures you.

4.    Use music to build that description as you might on Spotify. What songs capture your company’s spirit and essence?

Keep in mind that the social web puts a premium on authenticity. Present yourself well and shoppers will agree. Exaggerate and you might run into trouble.

Exercises like this can help you build a useful profile on the social web. Find this and more in Untangling the Social Web, the newest study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America. The study examines a variety of key issues about the social web. How to build your profile is found in Part 6, which you can find at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding ROI on the Social Web

Years ago a retail executive famously quipped that only half the money he spent on advertising was really worthwhile. The problem was that he couldn’t possibly identify which half it was.

Not surprisingly, the same question comes up about the social web. Certainly it is home to an immense amount of traffic. It’s estimated that more than 500 million Facebook users sign on and more than 300 million tweets are sent on Twitter daily. But does any of that traffic matter?

Figuring out how to gauge success—and evolve to improve in the future—is an important part for any company on the social web. In some ways, the process is clearer than other forms of communication as it’s relatively easy to find out if people are talking about you, passing along your messages and even reacting to what you have to say.

The measures might be somewhat unconventional, but as the social web is such a new and powerful media it demands that your company get involved and get experimenting quickly.

To help fellow business leaders understand the challenges and make better choices, the executives on the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council set out a bold goal: to produce a report explaining the scope of the social web and offering detailed advice on how to build successful plans.

The entire report, Untangling the Social Web, can now be downloaded at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb. The first five parts help outline the realities of this new environment. The three newest parts, 6, 7 and a joint executive summary, help describe the steps companies need take.

It’s a roadmap that any company can find useful and relatively easy to follow to take productive steps and better understand what actually constitutes success.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning to Speak “Social”

In so many ways the social web simply requires using common sense in a new way. After all, the Facebook didn’t invent the idea of community. It simply supercharged it through the use of technology.

Likewise think of a regular conversation. If you were discussing a business topic on the job you might use phrases and jargon that are well understood inside your company or your industry. But having that same discussion with your family at night would require a switch to plain language to give you any chance of them paying attention.

The same holds true for the social web. As you think about how you and your company are going to engage on the many networks of the web, you need to think about how you communicate. If you come on too strong and speak like an advertisement, you’re likely to turn off your audience who with then tune you out.

In addition, the information gathering power of the Internet raises the importance of transparency and authenticity in your conversation. If you present yourself as something you aren’t, your readers will figure it out and likely will point that out to the world.

The communication skills—especially listening—required by the social web are a vital step you need master to build any measure of success. Fortunately, the newest report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America can offer you a wealth of tips on how to succeed.

Parts 6 and 7, and a brief executive summary of both, are now available for download at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb. Visit the site to find Untangling the Social Web and use the reports to help you successfully engage. Part 6 focuses on external communication (mostly customers) and Part 7 on internal (associates).

Detailed examples, exercises and action plans are included in both.

 

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going Social Matters to Managers Too

The challenges and benefits social media brings to marketers are mirrored in the issues facing managers and leaders at all levels of any organization. Consider the many ways:

  • Just as with customers, associates can and will use the social web to compare experiences freely, much as they have always done. But now, powered by the new technology, those conversations take place faster and broader than ever. Today even prospective employees can easily garner a strong sense of a company’s (and a manager’s) strengths and weaknesses.
  • Engaging on the social web is as essential for associates as it is for customers. Just as customers look for websites and social presence on places they shop, associates look to see how their companies use the web for information sharing, education and job opportunities.
  • Likewise, the key to interacting on the social web starts with listening to and understanding the comments and chatter. By engaging in a pro-active way, companies and even individual managers can use the social web as a tool to produce productive ideas and additional buy-in among associates.

Of course, understanding successful strategies to using the social web requires new skills that will only grow in importance with greater use of the social web in years to come. Luckily, rising leaders have two great tools to help them in this journey.

First, Untangling the Social Web http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb, the on-going study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council provides a wealth of information and ideas. Parts 6 and 7 of the study focus specifically on the challenges facing companies and managers in building successful practices in the world of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Secondly, the council will make a special presentation on the social web to open Future Connect, the FMI conference for future leaders. The presentation will feature council member Mark Irby, vice president of marketing for Publix, and Tim Massa, who heads up talent acquisition for Kroger. The special presentation will take place on Monday, April 29 at 4 pm.

For current and future leaders the social web is an increasingly important tool, which makes the report and this special workshop so vital.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

So let’s say you are ready to join the social web. You’ve done your research, you know what you want to say and you know what you want to achieve.

Now you face a really tough question: where do you go?

  • Do you jump into the 140-character message world of Twitter or do you focus on the far larger universe and messaging capability of Facebook?
  • For current and prospective associates is LinkedIn the right site?
  • Or do you want Pinterest or Tumblr or any of the countless other sites that increasingly populate the social web?

The reality is that you may choose one or two or you may choose them all. Yet you have to use each network differently to build a record of success.

Luckily Untangling the Social Web, the newest report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, can help you navigate the choices. Through a series of questions probing what you are trying to do and who you are trying to reach, the report helps you determine your direction and offers tips on how best to use the various networks.

As previous parts of the study have shown, the social web is an increasingly important force in how customers and associates communicate and share opinions. And today a staggering number of people around the world tune into their social networks repeatedly each day.

All seven parts of the study are available for downloading at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb. Parts 6 and 7, along with an accompanying executive summary, detail the steps companies need take to determining how best to use the social web and make the choice of which network to use.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defining Yourself on the Social Web

Imagine meeting someone for the first time and what would you say about yourself.  You might talk about your family, your job, your hobbies or maybe just likes and dislikes.

In short, you’ve just described the challenge you face on the social web. Certainly it’s easy to set up a page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or another social network. What makes it hard is doing it right.

How to define yourself is detailed in the newest sections of Untangling the Social Web, the on-going report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America aimed at helping you through this process. Parts 6 and 7 of the report provide detailed steps that any company of any size need follow. These two parts along with an executive summary and the five previous parts are all available at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

It all begins with defining your roles and goals, which starts with clearly articulating who you are and what you want to communicate in ways that go well beyond your standard mission statement. As this new report details, companies need to carefully examine their identity, reputation and connections to find a starting point for successfully entering the social web.

Companies need to remember that this process is different for internal and external communications. All relationships are different and the social web demands that you have a carefully differentiated approach to customers and associates.

Though it sounds complex, the steps to defining yourself are easily achievable. Follow the exercises and tips through both parts of the report to create a clear process. All parts of the report can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building a Social Media Plan: So How Do You Start?

It’s hard to imagine anyone in business willing to ignore the burgeoning world of the social web. In almost every part of daily life from sports to business to politics to celebrities we are given constant reminders of the power of Tweets, Facebook updates and more.

So the question becomes: how do you it right because you constantly see so many doing it wrong?

The answer to that simple question is hardly simple. It requires a series of important steps on the following:

  1. How to define your role and goals on the social web.
  2. How to set up your social world so that you use the networks effectively.
  3. How to best engage your customers, associates and trading partners on the social web.
  4. How to assess your social performance and how to evolve as the networks and business needs change.

The newly released parts of Untangling the Social Web, the report from the

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America can help with this entire task. Just as the first five parts of the study outlined the scope of the social web, parts 6 and 7 provide a how-to guide to your process.

Both new parts of the study along with a brief executive summary are now available at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Untangling the Social Web — Download the Social Networking Study Here

As the supermarket industry strives to effectively leverage the power of social media, the final installments from social networking study by The Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council (CCRRC) of North America offer detailed rules of engagement to develop strategies and action plans to address internal and external audiences.

The final two reports from the CCRRC study, “Untangling the Social Web: Insights for Users, Brands and Retailers,” are available to download at no charge at CCRRC Part 6&7 Exec Summ-1

Part 6 addresses how to develop an external social web strategy. CCRRC Part 6

Part 7 covers how to develop an internal social web strategy. CCRRC Part 7

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment