Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reflection on Tenille Bentley's presentation from Day 1 of Social Media in Government

Tenille Bentley, founder of Socialite Media is now presenting on trends in engagement by people.

She says that the amount spent by state government on online engagement vastly under-rates the proportion of people's media time spent online (around 41%).

Tenille is illustrating the falling reach of newspapers and as their circulations decline, how their ad rates are going up, asking why?

Se says that social media presents an opportunity for government to re-engage with the community and target specific audiences, as a large proportion of the community is adopting social media, whether government likes it or not.

Tenille says that social media management is a skillset in its own right and believes a social media presence requires 100% focus to manage effectively.

She says she understands how overwhelming social media can be, particularly with the range of channels, and recommends keeping an eye on the top four channels - Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

Tenille says that each channel reaches a separate audience and is used in a different way.

  • Twitter - BBQ conversation, Very Powerful (about 1.2M Australian users - keep an eye on Tweetups)
  • LinkedIn - Business Conversation, Speed Networking (2.2M Australian users - business focus)
  • Facebook - Smart Casual Conversation, 80/20 rule, Business Page (10.5+ Australian users)
  • YouTube - Information, Entertainment
Tenille says it is important to look at how consumer behaviour has changed. For example, 20 years ago few people cared about organic eggs, now people want to know where their eggs come from and how chickens are treated. Consumers have changed - they want to see what goes on behind the scenes, why they should be associated with you, before becoming brand loyalty.

The circle of trust is critical - Talk -> See -> Like -> Trust -> Try -> Talk - Tenille says that just as we engage in small talk to size up people in a meeting before engaging and trusting, consumers (citizens) need to engage with organisations in conversations before they trust them.

She says the first thing organisations need to do is to be seen on social media channels, as people are already talking about you. If you are not seen you are doing damage to your brand and reputation.

Tenille says that next you must be engaging actively - don't simply link your accounts together and send information blindly (like linking media releases to Twitter, Twitter to Facebook, etc). Consumers look at your social media presence and assess whether it is in their language and then whether you are really engaging in conversation.

She says that a social media channel with no conversation is unhealthy, and consumers will see this and judge you accordingly.

Tenille says that once you have built trust through engagement, people will either try (your product or service) or talk about you (online and offline) - this is where ROI comes in, which can be very hard to effectively measure, but can be seen in the actions of the community.

Tenille says that people only go to organisational websites when they want to learn more about an organisation. For an organisation to proactively get information to the community it needs to create connections, engaging with consumers through channels such as social media and she says that if you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry people will start coming to you for advice.

Tenille says that the web has gone past the point of being optional for organisations. If you don't have a website, people won't trust your organisation is credible. The trend is towards social media going the same way - people look for whether organisations are engaging actively with their customers. Very soon an organisation without an active social media presence will not be seen as credible.

Temille says that people spend 7.8 hours per week on social media and fanning two of their favourite brands per week. Neilsen reports that 73% of online Australians prefer to engage with their favourite products, brands and services through social media. She says the 'smoko' has been replaced by the 'socialo'.

She says she often gets asked about the return on investment for social media - she asks them, what is the return on ignoring?

Tenille illustrates her point with a case study on Dominos - who had a negative video appear on YouTube and responded with a media release and traditional media engagement, however sales kept falling. Finally they convinced their CEO to create a video that went on YouTube - moral: don't rely on traditional media to address an issue discussed via social media. Respond in a like way.

Next Tenille is using QPS Media's use of social media during the Queensland floods as an example of how government can use social media, becoming a trusted information source, build engagement and address issues quickly - countering misinformation and also feeding traditional media. She says it also improves situational awareness.

Tenille has also showed examples of Barack Obama's campaign use of social media and how NSW Police has used social media for recruitment and community engagement. She says that focus groups from NSW Police have indicated that people trust information coming direct from the police more than they trust the media. She says that the NSW Police Superintendent has said that social media allows police to highlight the good work they do in the community.

She's now talking about the Best Job in the World campaign by QLD Tourism and how much attention it drove on a relative small budget ($1.2 milion) - receiving over 8.4 million unique visitors, 36,000 video applications, over $400 million in media value and estimated to have reached over 3 billion people.

Tenille is now running through how to use the top four.

She recommends that for Facebook that organisations design a professional landing page and post in a measured way. She says 44% of people unlike a Facebook page because it is updated too frequently. Tenille says they update the Socialite Media Facebook page twice per day, LinkedIn once per day, Twitter 5-15 times, plus conversation management.

For Twitter Tenille says it can be used for sending short messages to a bunch of people publicly, to a specific person publicly or to a specific person privately. As it is short you don't get to ramble.

She says Twitter can be used to monitor your brand and monitor and share industry/topic news, generate leads, promote events, drive traffic to a website.

Tenille says that LinkedIn has a solid corporate profile, with an average user age over 40, income of US$100,000 and professional background. LinkedIn receives 1.2 million comments and posts to groups each week and there's 2 billion people searches each year. Business pages now allow comments, providing greater utility.

She says that many recruitment agencies use LinkedIn as their first port of call for finding staff.

YouTube is good for education and campaign releases and Tenille says it can be integrated into other channels, as a medium where "a picture paints a thousand words". She says ensure that you upload clips, that you post both professional and 'candid' (less professional) videos - which humanise organisations. She recommends linking to clips that support your message.

Tenille says that organisations need to tell people about their social media channels and, not link them together but ensure there are clear paths between their channels.


She says that organisations should define their social media goal, strategy and 'angle' - including assessing their risks, putting them into scope with what social media represents (not overstating risks that aren't really risks applicable to social media).

Tenille recommends that oganisations listen first and be responsive to audience needs, that social media is used consistently and effectively - quality, not quantity.

She says it takes about 80 hours to develop a full social media strategy, pre-planning and approvals take around 75 hours.

Tenille reckons it requires 26% of people's working week to manage social media.

Tenille says that she focuses on education first, to ensure organisations understand whether social media suits them.

I'm now off to the office for the day - will blog more of the event tomorrow.



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