The Executive Series: High Level Strategy, Value Propositions and Social

This post is part of The Executive Series which is written by Jonas Klit Nielsen, CEO and Founder of Mindjumpers. The posts are based on his daily work with passionate people responsible in the area of social business, executives from large international companies and thought leaders in the social business space.
Growing up as an awkward teenager I did not exactly dream about working with social media. Yes I am that old! However, I started getting interested in how and why some companies succeeded while others did not. From the outside, it looked a lot like a branding thing.

I spent ten years working with traditional media, but mostly from a tactical perspective, not getting to the core of what really made a business successful.

In the last three years, through my work with social media I have had the opportunity to get into the inner core of big international companies. I have learned a lot about what drives success and what the challenges and issues are.

Now the question is, why did I get closer to the core, now? This is because, in the end ‘social’ can create value for any company’s high level strategy.

The Objective

I always ask potential new clients about what their objectives are when wanting to use social media – often the answer is a number of fans on Facebook. In my opinion a certain number of fans, followers, visits to website etc. is not an objective, it’s merely a target.

The Value Proposition

The interesting thing about social in my view is that it is actually not a question about views, impressions, subscribers, fans, followers etc. The Value Propositions for social are a lot of other things like customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, product and process innovation, revenue increase, cost savings etc.

Let me give a real life example:

Company X wishes to increase their customer satisfaction. Traditionally, they have a customer call centre (outsourced, of course). They decide that they want to try to increase the customer satisfaction by being present on their Facebook page with a customer service team. They decide that they will answer every day from 8am-8pm having a max response time of 1 hour in this period.

The following happens:

– People start asking questions on the Facebook page because it’s easier than picking up the phone and there are no annoying queues.

– Some customers don’t even have to ask their questions, they can see the answers on the page when the questions were asked by other customers.

– It is like the call center – some are angry in the beginning but when they get help they turn and become happy customers. The difference is that they leave the happy comment on the Facebook page for others visiting the page and sharing it in their friend’s news feed.

– The numbers of calls to the outsourced customer call centre starts dropping. This is providing the company with a most valuable outcome: cost savings!

To sum it up: Happier customers that share the good message with their friends at a lower cost.

The High Level Strategy

The High Level Strategy for a company is often circling around objectives like increasing the revenue, the customer satisfaction/loyalty, cost savings or product innovation, both on the processes and business strategies.

Because social is so much more than tactical media, you will be able to tie your strategy for using social to the High Level Strategy of your company. You need to provide that insight to the executive level of your company in order to get their buy-in.

Take a look at your company’s High Level Strategy and when creating the objectives and strategy for using social – integrate! Get beyond the simple idea that is: ‘we want 50.000 fans on our Facebook page’.

It sounds easy, though I am not saying it is! It will demand thoughtful leadership, courage and in the end resources. The good news is that even today, where we are still in the beginning of the age of “social”, the web is flooded with cases and evidence of companies who have created great value by enabling the right social media strategy.

Easy or difficult? New or old news? Do you think I am babbling? Please share any comment or question below or reach out to me at Jonas@mindjumpers.com

 

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!