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FROM THE FORTE

Perspective from Double Forte Public Relations and Marketing

Month

February 2014

7 Key Considerations for Starting a Social Measurement Program

You know you should measure your brand’s social activity. And you’ve been mulling over the best way to develop an effective measurement discipline. Frankly, the best way to do that is to simply start. Here are seven key consideration for building a social measurement practice:

1. Start with output. You need to start by tracking output. How many people visited your blog, pinned your infographic, shared or liked your status, or retweeted a Tweet? Count all of that.

2. Establish a benchmark. The output you track will become the benchmark for future measurement. Without a benchmark you will not be able to show traction.

3. Count everything. In the beginning, count everything. Establish a benchmark for number of blog posts written, number of comments, and traffic on each post. Track your Tweets, followers, retweets and favorites. As you refine your program you will learn what metrics are most important and you’ll want to have established a benchmark for those key markers.

4. Google it. Along those line, get access to your Google Analytics if you don’t already have it. Look at UVMs, keywords, bounce rates, visitors by time and geography. Study and track everything. You can refine later.

5. Value money saved as much as money made. Continue refining your measurement process and make sure you analyze the money you’re saving as well as the money you are making. Did a Facebook campaign generate leads? Fantastic. Likewise did a social listening exercise on Twitter cut down on research hours? Track that too. There’s value there.

6. Consider reach and influence. When you start to cull the data, make sure you consider reach and influence. Drill down into your fans and followers. Did one person’s action generate more awareness than 100 people combined? Who’s connected and who are they connected too? Tools like Klout, Alexa and Compete can help you analyze reach and influence. Sign up for them.

7. Remember micro conversations are as important as macro trends. Once you start to drill down beyond the numbers, analyze both the macro trends you’re seeing as well as the micro conversations. Just as important as watching the lifecycle of a conversation thread, is looking at who exactly is in that conversation. Maybe some negative chatter is dying down, but if the remaining detractor is influential, you’re not out of the woods. Likewise, maybe your Twitter chat was attended by 500 people. If they’re not the right people, you didn’t gain much. When it comes to measurement, both the granular and the long view both matter.

Don’t become a victim of analysis and paralysis. Start tracking your online activity and you will see patterns and trends emerge. If you don’t start counting what you’re doing today, you’ll never figure out where you want to be tomorrow.

Fridays With: Rachael Kagan, chief communications officer for San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

What is your elevator pitch when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”

I do strategic communications for mission driven organizations. The basic idea is to help them reach their audiences and achieve their goals. Right now I am the chief communications officer for San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. That includes strategy, policy, media relations, community relations, internal communications, crisis communications, events, publications, coaching and a drop of social media. In an elevator, I would shorten that to spokeswoman.

Describe the path that led you to this career.

I worked for newspapers in New York, New Jersey and California. My background in journalism really helps me to be effective in many areas of communications work – writing, interviews, fact-finding, analysis, media relations and strategy. I covered health care, which gave me expertise that has helped me to represent several health care organizations. I also covered education and immigration, which gave me experience working with diverse groups on complex social, economic and policy issues. I have found that I use this mix of skills over and over again, enriching them along the way as each new job or project adds its own lessons that can be taken forward to the next challenge.

What are the elements of a successful workplace?

It’s all about the people. A diverse team of smart, curious, funny people who are good at what they do will make anything possible. Also, windows.

What is the one piece of technology you cannot live without?

My glasses.

What are you reading?

Yes I Can, the Sammy Davis Jr story. Just finished The War Against Miss Winter, by Kathryn Miller Haines, a period mystery set in WWII New York about an actress who stumbles onto a case. Also, The Darling by Russell Banks and The Good House by Ann Leary.

If you could, what advice would you give your 20-something self?

Get more sleep. Don’t make every quip, save something for the ride home.

If you could do anything and know you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

Write thrillers.

At Double Forte’s San Francisco office, the conference rooms are named Rock and Roll, Motown, Hip Hop, Mambo, Jazz and Disco. Which name best describes you and why?

Hip Hop, in a desperate attempt to pander to my 14-year-old son.

What’s in your Netflix queue?

Nurse Jackie, House of Cards, The Newsroom (hate-watching) and “No,” a great Chilean film about PR and politics.

6 Reasons You Should Be Listening on Social Media

Despite the non-stop hype about the benefits of social media, not all brands have embraced digital communications as a critical part of the marketing mix. It’s understandable; just how do you measure a “like” anyway?

But regardless of whether a company is ready to start tweeting, they should, at a minimum be listening to what’s happening in the social space. Here are six reasons you should have a social listening program:

  1. To gather brand intelligence. Whether you choose to engage in social media or not, you can bet your customers will. If you want to know what they think about your brand and products, social media is a great place to find out.

  2. To analyze the competitive landscape. Chances are your competitors are using at least one social platform if not more. By monitoring social activity you’ll get a good sense of how they’re engaging with customers, what customers are saying about them, what opportunities they may be missing.

  3. To target influencers. One group of people that is most definitely online is the influencer community. If you want to reach influencers in your industry, what better way than to listen to what’s top of mind for them?

  4. To curate content. We all know content is the name of the game. Social media is an excellent way to stay on top of trends, determine what content and conversations are resonating, and what content you want to share.

  5. To prepare for a crisis. Because of the access it provides and the immediacy of the platforms, social media amplifies crises quickly. Before a crisis occurs, you can get a sense of who might help or hurt and how to reach those people by following social patterns and conversations.

  6. To augment reporting. If your job description includes reporting on marketing impact and effectiveness, you need to go where the conversations are happening. And unless you’re listening online, you’re not hearing the whole story.

Fridays With: Tom Ham, senior director of programming, Machinima

What is your elevator pitch when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”

I am the Senior Director of Programming for Machinima. What is Machinima you ask? It’s one of the biggest multi-channel networks on YouTube with over 10M subscribers that creates cool and compelling content for young males aged 13-35. I head up the various video game related channels and our Xbox App team.

Describe the path that led you to this career.

After being a game journalist for nearly two decades, I wanted to try something new. So I got into entertainment, specifically reality television. While I was working in production on Emmy award winning shows, I always kept in touch with the gaming community. Whether it was attending E3 or an industry event – it was always nice to reconnect with friends that worked with for so long as a journalist. The last few years, I started to miss the gaming industry and was looking for a way to get back into it. I’ve always been a fan of Machinima so when the opportunity came up to work here, I had to take it.

What are the elements of a successful workplace?

I love a workplace that supports you during the day but also wants you to have a personal/home life too. Previously I worked at a company where people would email you on weekends or late at night (expecting an answer). Or they would look at you funny if you left the office at 6 p.m. Here at Machinima, people respect your personal time. They want you to “have a life.” To me that speaks a lot about the company and culture here.

What is the one piece of technology you cannot live without?

I can’t live without my gaming consoles. If those weren’t in my life, I would go nuts. My iPhone is a close second.

What are you reading?

Unfortunately, I’m not a reader. I wish I was but I haven’t read a book in years! Do magazines count? If so, I regularly read Vanity Fair, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

If you could, what advice would you give your 20-something self?

You may think you know everything but you don’t. Learn to listen to others and learn to listen to yourself.

If you could do anything and know you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

Being an actor. It’s something I’ve always thought about doing but never did it. Living in LA, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to pursue this but personally, I hate the “rejection/not getting a part” aspect of it, which is why I never got into it.

At Double Forte’s San Francisco office, the conference rooms are named Rock and Roll, Motown, Hip Hop, Mambo, Jazz and Disco. Which name best describes you and why?

I would say Disco. Having been a former clubjock, I always gravitate to dance music.

What’s in your Netflix queue?

Breaking Bad Season 1 (yes, Season 1), House of Cards (haven’t seen it yet), The Following (haven’t seen this yet either).

Valentine’s Day Drink Guide

Image Source: Terroirist

Just as no two snowflakes are the same, neither are Valentine’s Day celebrations. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is revered or reviled and every emotion in between. However, one thing most of us can agree on is that the day calls for a spirited drink. From first dates to break ups, we at The Barn Group aim to take some of the guesswork out of pairing the right libation with however you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.

  • First Date – Bold move planning a first date on Valentine’s Day. Avoid any awkwardness with Champagne or Prosecco. It’s an elegant way to start the evening, plus the conversation will flow like you’re on date number two.
  • Trendy Restaurant Date – Dinner at a hot, new restaurant calls for ordering a wine with verve. Try a varietal that’s unique and up-and-coming like Carménère or Teroldego.
  • Romantic Dinner at home – Light the candles, share a bowl of pasta à la Lady and the Tramp and sip a California Cabernet Sauvignon. Feel free to splurge on an older vintage – this big red wine gets better with age, just like your love.
  • Tinder Date – Vodka – keep ‘em coming. And hope your “Like” doesn’t turn out to be a “Nope.”
  • Girls Night – Chick flicks, candy hearts, and lots of banter. Pour a sweet Moscato and beware – no secret crush is safe.
  • Anti-Valentine’s Day Party – Everyone dressed in black, this group doesn’t need love, they need good wine. Bring in the big guns with a Syrah full of high tannins and dark blackberry flavors.
  • The Break Up – It’s a cruel thing to end a relationship on a day dedicated to love, but the pressure of Valentine’s Day can be too much for some couples. Gin and tonic, anyone? How about bourbon?

However you choose to celebrate – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cheers from The Barn Group.

Let’s Talk About Social Lift

Social Lift. It’s what you get when you combine the power of research, strategy, and content development to elevate your brand across all of the social outlets that are, or should be, important to you. And it’s something we provide daily to our clients. It’s also something we realize we don’t talk about enough. That’s because we view digital communications a lot like traditional communications – something that must be grounded in strategy, tied to business objectives, and executed with precision. It’s just what we do.

But a recent study reveals only 34 percent of businesses feel their social strategy is connected to business outcomes and a mere 28 percent of companies feel they have a holistic approach to social media. And that tells us, we need to talk more about how companies can create a strong, owned and earned digital footprint.

To begin, you go where people are talking, reading and viewing to listen and learn before building programs that are mutually beneficial for the online community and your bottom line. That’s what generates an authentic two-way communication between people and the brands they value. Through active social listening and measurement, you identify where conversations are happening online, who’s talking, who matters and what they’re saying and how people are connected.

Once you have that data, you can build an influencer map that tells you who’s talking about you, who’s not talking about you, who and what is driving the conversation, and how your share of voice compares to your competitors. That’s how you determine the platforms that matter.

Armed with information about where and how you’re showing up online, who’s talking about you and who isn’t, and how they feel about you and your brand, you can build a unique Digital Footprint.
– What’s the right path forward?
– Where do you go next?
– On which platforms will you engage?
– What will engagement look like?
– Will you comment, respond, invite debate?
– What’s the right pace and POV for you?
– How do you build a presence that’s big enough to get you noticed, but not so big you’re a target?

That’s what we do. And we want to talk to you about it.

Presenting the Second Screen Awards: Super Bowl Style

Political junkies have known for years that televised events are so much better when you log on to a second screen while watching them. There’s a reason @InvisbleObama still has more than 50,000 followers on Twitter almost 18 months after Clint Eastwood addressed an empty chair at the Republican National Convention.

Then last year, when the lights went out at the New Orleans Super Dome during the Ravens v. 49ers game, and Oreo’s tweet about dunking in the dark was re-tweeted more than 16,000 times, sports fans and brands figured it out too. In fact, according to a Reuter’s story late last week, Facebook and Twitter were both vying to be the second screen venue of choice during last night’s big game.

So who were the social media winners and losers during Super Bowl XLVIII? With a blowout game, no clear winner on the advertising front, a dazzling but noncontroversial half-time show, and lights that stayed on all night, brands had to huddle to find opportunities to stand out. Here are our picks for the Second Screen Awards: Super Bowl.

Crowd Favorite Award: Budweiser
According to MediaWeek, Budweiser dominated social media last night with 185,000 tweets and 36 million YouTube views, based on its Clydesale horse meets puppy ad.

Feel Good Award: Bank of America
Who would have thought one of the most vilified brands in America, would come out on top? Bank of America scored big last night when it partnered with U2 and iTunes to support Bono’s Product (RED) charity and donate money for every download of the band’s new single. On Facebook, the bank offered behind the scenes video of U2 in the studio. Posts and tweets were mixed, but mostly positive:

@shaunstripling Ok, switching my account to BofA, Bono you are never invisible. ‪#amiright‬‬‬‬‬? ‪#frankbowl‬‬‬‬‬ ‪@FrankAboutWomen‬‬‬‬‬

@arnicas 

‪@sgoggins‬‬‬‬‬ I was good with it till the BofA part

The Most Relevant Content Award: DiGiorno Pizza
DiGiorno did a great job last night with authentic relevant tweets like these:

All of you in the stadium right now, look under your seats. YEP! A DIGIORNO PIZZA ‪#NotReally‬‬‬‬‬ ‪#ThatWouldBeCoolThough‬‬‬‬‬ ‪#SB48‬‬‬‬‬

‪#DidYouKnow‬‬‬‬‬ In many nations MVP stands for Most Valuable Pizza. Not sure if that’s true but it feels true

The Were They or Weren’t They Award: JC Penney
JC Penney had everyone speculating, and tweeting, last night when the company appeared to have a drunk tweeter in charge. After the company tweeted,

Who kkmew theis was ghiong tob e a baweball ghamle

and

Toughdown Seadawks!! Is sSeattle going toa runaway wit h this???

Other brands jumped in the discussion to offer advice like this:

@coorslight .‪@JCPenney‬‬‬‬‬ We know football goes great with Coors Light, but please tweet responsibly.

The retailer explained they weren’t drunk, just #tweetingwithmittens. According to the Washington Post, the tweets generated more than 41,000 retweets. In comparison, the week before the game, they averaged only 20 retweets per tweet.

Best Use of Video Award: Tide
While appearing to try very hard to make the brand relevant, Tide was one of a few companies that used Vine effectively last night. The company capitalized on other brands ads with tweets like this:

Love is in the air ‪@Chevrolet‬‬‬‬‬. But love can get messy ‪@Tide‬‬‬‬‬ ‪#GetsItOut‬‬‬‬‬ ‪#SB48‬‬‬‬‬ ‪https://vine.co/v/Mz2FxDL5MW5 ‬‬‬‬‬

Bear in ‪@beatsmusic‬‬‬‬‬ ad has serious moves. Our bear? Not so much. Watch out for big bad stains. ‪@Tide‬‬‬‬‬ ‪#GetsI‬‬‬‬‬…

Sideline Award: Oreo
Perhaps knowing they couldn’t top last year’s true organic moment, Oreo tweeted “we’re going dark tonight” and sat out the game. Progressive also stayed out of the fray after tweeting, “What do car insurance and football have in common? Nothing. Talk to you after the game! ‪pic.twitter.com/43oyfp99WS‬‬‬‬‬”

The Nice Try Award: Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood tried to get in the action by capitalizing on safety in the first quarter of the game with a relevant tweet:

@PPFAQ Don’t go into the end zone without protection. ‪http://p.ppfa.org/1fFsUvv ‬‬‬‬‬ ‪#condoms‬‬‬‬‬ ‪#SuperBowl‬‬‬‬‬

Platform Winner Award: Twitter

Pinterest and Instagram were pretty quiet last night. Facebook may have fared better had there been a game to speak of. But Twitter was clearly the place to be during the game. Even former First Lady and Secretary of State was tweeting with this gem, which we’re calling:

A Good Defense Is a Better Offense Award

@HillaryClinton It’s so much more fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed & sacked! ‪#SuperBowl‬‬‬‬.

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