Thoughts from day 1 of the FROCOMM New Media Summit

I’m at the FROCOMM New Media Summit this week in Sydney.

I’ll be updating this post over the day with some thoughts.

Introduction from Deakin’s Ross Monaghan, who is chairing today.

Asks the question, “how do we create content?”

Key note speaker: Mandi Bateson from Hill & Knowlton.

Has eight points:

Show, not tell (esp for Google).

Test your effectiveness.

Work smarter. Social media press releases, with analytics. Seems to be via email. Also, use Twitter lists to follow journos.

Don’t do social media by yourself.

Listen (we’re all opinionated).

Crowdsource and get feedback. But be warned – can be gamed by savvy users.

Building opt-in communities, who want to consume your content.

Amplify, supporters share your content. More likely to be shared to your target audience.

All content should be sharable. Lots of content is consumed away from source site.

Opportunities for customer service. Uses example of NSW election tweets. People tweet about you, not to you.

Recognise your online advocates.

Don’t broadcast, and encourage your advocates to create content about you, on their own sites or Facebook.

Active fans on Facebook make up only around 1% of your fans. High levels of engagement around 2.5%.

Ask people to like your content. Use diverse Facebook content – photos and videos.

(This presenter moves rapidly between social media nblogging/websites.)

Be honest and transparent. Don’t lie on Facebook.

Raises notion of astroturfing in brand context. She recommends against it, as misinformation. Expectation of ethical behaviour.

Find social media champions, internally within your org, and in your wider community. Don’t obsess about technology, focus on content.

On to questions. How can we get buy in when there are a heap of “sign off” points? Answer: look at building a traffic light system, with pre-approved content.

Should we use org Twitter or persona Twitter? Both are good but personal tone is better. But comes with risks, they could get sick of it or leave the org.

UPDATE 10:55
Jodee Rich, founder of People Browser. Telling us that eyeballs is not engagement.

Lots of content being uploaded every second. Interesting content is very personalised.

Social vectors. Brief discussion of personas, and influence. Transformation from number of friends to how many are engaged, and now, apparently number of friends talking about a given topic.

Jodee doesn’t like Klout. (Looks like his product is a competitor.)

Turning into a product display. Ugh.

Now talking about how his company follows “influencers” and sends them Direct Messages with “offers”. DM spam. Really?

Now to some questions.

His product did look good though.

Wing Cheung from NAB on defining digital strategy.

No doubt talking about the “breakup” campaign.

Talking “frameworks”. Listened before engaging.

Big focus for NAB is customer servicing. Customers use social media to talk with each other about NAB.

Seems to be about finding good stories/brand experiences, and performing triage on bad experiences. Stopping bad news from spreading, since “power of the network” effect causes word of mouth to shorten timelines of backlashes.

Want to hear more about the mistakes. Lots more insights from the failures. All success stories look the same.

Set your goals so you can measure success. Lots of people don’t do this.

Get the tools to listen. What to listen too?

Who monitors social media?

What gets monitored/tracked?

Share the insights, and discuss what actions should be taken.

Get buyin from others in your organisation.

Getting approval from various parts of the organisation for Twitter replies. Compliance, legal, etc. Sounds excessive.

Nice looking one page online guideline. Transparent, responsible and respectful.

Brave question from social media manager, NAB : “what do we actually do?”

Deals on Facebook, aimed at students. Sharing good news on Twitter.

Influencers vs trolls. (Can be the same person sometimes.)

Seeding and responding. Exclusives information or products to “brand advocates” which help them create pro-brand content.

Case study on the Breakup Campaign. Apparently they launched the campaign on Twitter.

I can only imagine the long leadtime for this campaign.

NAB had Aus trending topic during #Egypt uprising and crazy #Auspol politics. Not bad. Got 500 customers who switched from other banks directly from social media and web.

Some NAB customers created their own breakup Youtube vidoes.


Morning tea finished. Now a discussion on “search suppression” – Cathie McGinn. Sanitising your online presence from negative feedback. Powerpoint headline “Dark art of search suppression”. Hmmm.

Talk starts with “putting ethics aside for a moment…” Uh oh.

About Google exclusively – 95% of Australian search is with Google. Most people only look at 1st page of search results. Goal presumably is to push negative pages to second page or lower.

Mentions Google Bombing – using keyword links to your content. I thought most Google Bombing was now ineffective after changes to algorithm.

Most of this is good, common sense stuff about using key words to promote your content. Nothing very new though.

Panel discussion now with Reps from SR7, NSW Police and Immigration Dept. Talking about PR amd ethics on social media.

Role of authenticity and ethics. Should you be ethical out of fear or genuineness?

How to engage bloggers. Ignore them at your peril. Good advice. Participation best way to engage, leave comments, etc. Build those relationships and trust.

When do you escalate comments to offline resolution? Assess risk – do they have 8 followers or 1000? Criticism should be responded to in the original channel.

How can you spontaneously engage with social media when you have a structured marketing campaign? Seeding and engagement. Organisations have few organic social media marketing successes.

What do you do when someone names names in a controversial manner? No real answer.

Good point from Sandi Logan DIMIA about how social media costs money through staff time.

When everything on social media is public, is it an issue for organisations to delve deeply?


Head of Digital, Reichel Cheslett, from Weight Watchers after a surprisingly delicious lunch.

“Being a healthy part of your online community”. Massive organisation with large resources available. They have the full suite of social media and online campaign tools. 1000s of bloggers, hundreds of groups, 300,000 members.

Content is King, but needs to be in context of the organisation. E.g. Weight Watchers needs to create content about losing weight, not Ferraris.

Focused on Facebook. First foray failed. Through seeding marketing promos. Rejected because it was pushy, not relevant and not in context. It’s a branded environment, not discissions about the brand. Role is to listen, facilitate conversations between supporters.

Only spoke to fans in first person.

How is it measured? Does it achieve real goals (ROI, sales)? Importance of metrics. Weight Watchers uses Buzz Engage. Similar to Radian6.

Interesting about KPI targets, especially on third-party sites. Sharing stories and building branded networks between people. This also helps create content by supporters.

Reichel is by far the best presenter so far. Willing to talk about failures and limitations. Real world applications.

Digital (inc. social media) integrated with other marketing efforts.

Weight Watchers good example of fans who are emotionally invested in the organisation. I suspect its linked to WW program focused on behaviour change. Fans are devotees.

Hmmm. Battery running out…

American Express’s Nic Frankham is also interesting. Global brand. Still follows principles that rest of community has talked about.

Don’t use Facebook for sales. Focus on building brand loyalty.

If you build it, they won’t necessarily come (on Facebook).

UPDATE – Reflection on Day One
Day One wad setting the ground. Listening to the questions and conversation of many of the delegates at this Summit, it’s clear that most of the people here are not across social media in any in depth way. Many appear to be the only social media advocates in their organisations and are only casual users themselves.

Overcoming internal inertia and resistance are the main themes. Most of the examples from presenters presuppose relatively large budgets or resources available for social media. Digital success stories all have significant traditional components: TV, radio, print, out door.

I’m a bit surprised that email was only mentioned once, even though it’s the original social media and still the most widely used.

Despite this, there has been one genuinely interesting stuff amidst the standard advice.

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