7 Secrets of Social Media Success

March 26, 2013

tweetThis post is a summary of the Twitter Chat hosted by @TheSocialCMO.  The guest was Wendy Clark – SVP, Integrated Marketing Communications & Capabilities at Coca-Cola, know on Twitter as @wnd(You know she’s an early adopter because she has a three letter handle!)

I’m pretty jaded about Twitter Chats because most of them are vapid.  Not this one.  I went to the TheSocialCMO Blog to read the transcript of this #MMChat and discovered some great information and insights. It is pretty hard to read b/c of all the re-tweets, so I thought it worth excerpting the questions (@TheSocialCMO and answers (@wnd).   Nice job all around.

#MMChat Transcript

Q1: What are the 7 Secrets of Social Media Success?

#1 Be Shareworthy. In a social world it’s abt an initial audience u can reach sharing ur content w/ an ultimate audience they reach

#2 Listen & Engage. Brands are listening but listening alone is not enough. We must engage in the dialog of our brands-in real time.

#3 Think big, start small, scale fast. Key to rapid innovation is testing, learning, failing, fixing – & then scaling

#4 Social’s an amplifier not a silver bullet. We’re big believers in the power of social to make everything else we’re doing better.

#5 Content is the new currency. Social network cache & success are incredibly important to teens & young adults. Create accordingly.

#6 We might be shepherds, stewards and guardians of our brands, but we no longer control them. Co-create & participate w/ your fans.

#7 Be Flawesome = awesome w/ your flaws. Consumers aren’t interested in ur corporate veneer. Brands must be real, authentic, human.

Q2: How easy or hard is it to really drive adoption of social media at a company the size of Coca-Cola?

A2: The key is supportive leadership. With our most senior leaders as believers we’ve been able to fuel change & adoption internally

A2: Another key is employee engagement. Our PR and Employee Comms teams have been masterful at training our associates

Q3: There’s been some press recently on Social not working as hard as you’d like it? Is this true? How do u determine ROI on Social? 

A3: Social works really hard as an integrated part of our Connections plans. As studies point to, Social + other media = better ROI

A3: Our core metrics for social are reach, engagement, brand love & brand value. All of which we achieve through integrated plans.

A3: Social works really hard as an integrated part of our Connections plans. As studies point to, Social + other media = better ROI

Q4: You’ve also said publicly that corporations particularly have to embrace failure. Say more about this?

A4: We must fuel a company culture that accepts and learns from failure, if not we will miss key learnings as we innovate.

A4: I feel really strongly about this. Failing to learn is the real failure that I fear, not failure itself.

A4: Our CEO Muhtar Kent says it’s ok to fail once, it’s not ok to failure twice at the same thing. Not learning is the failure.

Q5: Is there a failure Coca-Cola’s made in Social that you’d like to share?

A5: Ha! How long is this chat?

A5: Plenty. That’s how you improve.

A5: Early on we replicated successful content. Of course those versions didn’t spread far. We learned originality is critical online

A5: We also thought early on that we could plan real-time engagement — turns out real-time is, er, real-time.

Q6: How does Coca-Cola feel about user generated content?

A6: I’d say 80%+ of the content & conversation online around our brands is not from us, so UGC is a big part of our engagement

A6: That said, I don’t think brands should completely delegate their proxy to consumers. The best UGC is co-created.

A6: Brands and consumers participating and co-creating together can be a 1+1=3 scenario.

Q7: Can you talk more about the innovation model Coke’s using in terms of 70/20/10?

A7: 70/20/10 is a now/new/next model to ensure we’re innovating in our marketing investment.

A7: 70/20/10 = 70% on what we know works now; 20% on things that are new to our plans; 10% on complete unknowns (next)

Q8: 61MM+ Facebook likes makes Coke FB’s largest brand fan page, how did you grow to that size?

A8: We’re humbled by the size & growth of our FB page. We don’t take it 4 granted & try to fuel a Community that’s of & for our fans

A8: #CocaCola is among the most well-known & ubiquitous brands in the world, our growth on FB has been largely organic.

A8: #CocaCola’s FB fan page typically grows by about 1MM Likes every 10-15 days.

A8: BUT! When we activate poorly or don’t put our Fans First in our FB Community our disconnects can go up by 4x. #BeShareworthy

Q9: How do you think about aggregating Social as a company operating in over 200 countries?

A9: At #CocaCola Social is executed locally. We use internal publishing tools to aggregate, clear & share good content across mrkts

A9: The currency of conversation on social networks manifests locally. It might spread globally, but social is inherently local.

Q10: Are there brands you envy in the Social space? Who do you benchmark?

A10: We envy many – we try to constantly innovate & improve in the space – b/c standing still & the status quo is unacceptable to us

A10: We had Troy Carter (@ladygaga’s manager) at our global marketing mtg. There’s much to learn from the way celebrities use Social

I have been working in and around social media since 2003 (before Twitter . . .) and this is some of the best advice I have seen.


Social Media for New Product Innovation

July 13, 2012

Great new blog post over at NM Incite by my friend Gadi Benmark pointing out three ways effectively use SM research in your innovation process:

  1. Pull back the lens to the category level
  2. Identify the naturally occurring (consumer) segments in the category
  3. Analysis for unmet needs to identify opportunity space

Of course there is much more that goes in to innovation that this, but SM is a fast, economical way to get the organic, unvarnished voice of the customer into your process.

3 Steps to get Social Media into the New Product Development Mix



Salesforce + Radian6: What does it mean for you?

April 5, 2011

This is a guest post from David Rabjohns – CEO of MotiveQuest LLC.

In case you haven’t heard, Salesforce.com (the leading B2B Customer Relationship Management software company) bought Radian6, the leading Social Media Monitoring platform this week for $326m.   Forbes Article.

We think the deal marks an interesting inflection point in the social media age. Here is a software company that helps businesses manage their one-on-one relationships, jumping the divide to buy a company that lets brands manage one-on-one relationships. For us it is a glimpse into the possibility of the post mass media, one-on-one, world.

As Forbes imagines:

“Say a consumer tweets that she hates her cell phone service provider (I name no names). This is what a Radian6-Chatter-Salesforce.com combo could do, Kingstone says:

First the company would actually know that the tweet was sent. It would then decide whether to reach out to the customer or wait to hear from her or dismiss her entirely. The response will be dependent upon whether or not she is an “influencer” and, hopefully, has a legitimate gripe.
If it does decide to respond, it will then use the platform to decide what is the right response to make her happy.

Only bits and pieces of this is possible today and usually after a massive investment or internal realignment. Getting to this point won’t necessarily be easy, Kingstone also says. “It will take an integration of Radian6′s listening platform, with Chatter and with Salesforce.com’s 360 degree view of the customer. But it is feasible.””
Nobody really knows what this purchase will mean for the future. But if you are in the social business it is worth keeping in the corner of your eye.



Dilbert on Social Media

September 15, 2010

Yes, this is everywhere – but need it here for the archive.
Dilbert SM Part 1

And Part 2

Enjoy – TO’B

Healthcare debate analysis

September 9, 2009

We (MotiveQuest LLC) have decided to start tracking & analyzing the healthcare debate using our online anthropology tools and techniques.  The first report in this series can be found here:  The Raging Debate

For this series we will be monitoring & analyzing the online conversation around healthcare and providing weekly updates as to what is driving the conversation, advocacy for different options and the emotional tenor of the chatter.Healthcare Topics

Here is one chart from the report showing the key topics and drivers of concern – you can see the landscape has changed significantly from June through August.

You can see that rationing shows the biggest increase from June through August.

We will be posting a follow-up report next week which will reflect today’s speech by President Obama.

If you are interested in more information you can contact me at tobrien at motivequest dot com.

Thanks – TO’B

How the h*ck do we do social media

August 10, 2009

We are getting lots of questions from our clients about how to scale social media.  At first, the discussions are “tools and tactics” focused.  Then it quickly becomes apparent that “doing social media” is a major commitment that will take real people and real funding over time.  No freebie here.

The other day Scott Monty the SM guy for Ford blogged “A Year @ Ford – Part 1″ and I knew this was one to share.  (A year ago Scott quit his agency gig and moved his family to Detroit and joined Ford to head up digital communications – and what a year it was.  Can you think of a more turbulent year for the automotive Industry?)

Here are my takeaways – but if you (or your clients) are trying to figure out how to do SM – then read the whole thing:

  1. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork: Scott didn’t set out doing, he set out meeting everyone he could across the organization and learning what they needed.
  2. Inventory: All big companies are doing something in SM.  Find out what it is and leverage it.
  3. Sr. Management Support: Without this you are doomed to failure.
  4. Stakeholders: Marketing, PR, Product, Customer Service, Legal all have a stake in SM initiatives.  Figure out what it is and how to incorporate it.
  5. Strategy: Before tools comes strategy.  What is the organization trying to accomplish.
  6. Horses for Courses: Different SM channels for different Ford constituencies.  Mustang fans don’t care about the same thing as Fusion Hybrid fans.
  7. Help: Once the strategy was in place, Scott brought in some really expert agencies (advertising, PR and SM) and people to help execute.  That means budget.

While this is a long term initiative, the early returns are quite good with very positive press coverage for Ford, and significantly improved perceptions of the brand. 

As an outsider, I’d say that Ford has stopped relying solely on mass media & big advertising and they are taking the Ford Story direct to the people.

What will your clients do?

Communities don’t care about brands

April 23, 2009

Does that seem like a provocative title? Well it kind-of is. Communities do care about brands, but perhaps not in the way you like to think. Communities are self organizing groups of like-minded people who gather to share information, opinions, and suggestions, make friends, get together, etc. Sometimes, a brand sits at the center of the community, but more often it doesn’t

(Here’s my deck on How Communities Work.)

We have done hundreds of projects over the last 6 years harvesting and analyzing community conversations to understand why people do what they do. Across all these projects, brand mentions are typically a fraction of all the community conversation. In food, brand mentions are in less than 5% of the conversations. In a highly brand involved community, like cars or cellphones brand mentions are rarely in more than 30% of the conversations.

If you are “brand monitoring” then you are missing between 70% and 95% of the relevant conversation.

If you (Mr. Brand) want to “connect” with communities what you need to do is study community issues, motivations and drivers first. Once you understand the community motivations, then you are ready to participate. Just remember this rule of thumb. Everything you (Mr. Brand) do in the community should go through the filter of community motivations.

Are you serving the community or are you using the community?



Google and P&G

November 24, 2008

I’m sure most of you saw the front page WSJ article last week about Google and P&G. This is of great interest to me because it gets to the heart of one of my underlying hypotheses about why digital advertising will continue to grow at the expense of other media.

Right now brand marketers are way under-invested in digital marketing. All you have to do is see the chart below.  TV has less than 20% of the time but 44% of the spending.     Marketers are over invested in traditional media as compared to time spent there.


Sources: TNS Media Intelligence & Forrester Research

This has to change. The challenge, as I have learned from several of our client CMO’s is that it is really hard to spend money on digital, while it is relatively easy to shovel it out the door on 30 sec. TV spots.

We (agencies, researchers, etc.) need to work a lot harder to bring ideas to our clients on how to spend money and leverage programs via digital channels. As John Bell famously asks, if I spend another $100k on social media, what do I get?


5 Things about Social Media

November 10, 2008

I had a call with a client today. They are a huge, global company, and we have been doing brand tracking & analysis for them for several years.

They have a newly formed social media team, and I had a call with them today. I thought their questions (and my answers) might be relevant to others as well. Here is my follow-up email:


It was great to talk to you and your team just now.  You have a big (and exciting) job ahead; here are my thoughts.

  1. Social media is about human scale engagement – not technology
  2. SM is about relationships, not campaigns.  Plan accordingly
  3. SM cuts across silos.  It will involve marketing, product, customer service and legal (at least).  Doing it well will require C level approval AND support.
  4. Success in SM requires putting the community’s motivations first.  This is very hard for most companies to grasp.  It is not about selling something, but about getting people to love you so they will do more business with you.  A subtle, but important distinction.  Put the community’s motivations first.
  5. Successful SM will connect to something people are already passionate about.  Figure out what it is first.

I could go on, but you get the idea ;-)

Links & Info

Here are our decks on slideshare:

MotiveQuest SlideShare

You already read Groundswell – which I think is a really good book on this subject – here is my review of Groundswell.

Peter Kim @ Mashable: List of Social Media Marketing Examples

Another good one with lots of comments from Peter Kim: What is Social Media Marketing

Chris Brogan: A good Blog on social media marketing – pretty PR focused.

Jeremiah Owyang – analyst for Forrester has good coverage of SM but heavy on tools: Web Stratgy by Jeremiah

And finally, a really interesting and different social media execution: Layer Tennis – watch a match and you will get it – be sure to click thru the volleys.


Take a look at the results the CS3 launch was a HUGE success for Adobe (and their agency – Goodby).

CS3 Launch

CS3 Launch

Call me if you have any questions or would like to discuss further –


Sara Palin & SNL: Josh Bernoff has Questions . . . .

October 23, 2008

We sent out an email blast last week about our BrandAdvocacy ’08 website and got some questions back from Josh Bernoff at Forrester (blogging here).

Here are his questions – and our answers. (By the way, Josh’s questions were pretty representative of the questions we are getting from everyone.)

1. Is there a bias in people who create or react to content online towards the democratic and liberal candidates?

  • First, if you look at the trend data on Brandadvocay08 it is clear that sometimes Obama has led and sometimes McCain has led, so on a very simple level this does not seem to be true.
  • Second, when we created the dataset we were careful to create a representative dataset of both ordinary people and political commentators.  For example on the site we have links to one of each for Democrats http://www.topix.com/forum/us/democrat and for Republicans http://www.topix.com/forum/us/republican. We found that there are plenty of Republicans who are online also.
  • In addition we can look at the underlying constant of regression the CNN Poll of Polls and Obama’s Online Promoter™ Score to determine if there is an “online bias”.  The CNN Poll of Polls shows a constant of 50.8%, MQ’s OPS shows a constant of 49.6%.
  • MQ’s data does not reflect a particularly liberal bias, other slices of data might, if we look more recently perhaps one could be emerging but over the 9/1 to 10/20 time frame there doesn’t appear to be one.
  • This also depends on your belief in the bias of the poll of polls; I’m not a polling person and can’t say if there is a bias in the poll of polls.

2. Do people online just like to talk about the Wow activities (like Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live) vs the real Issues?

  • Every day we highlight the words that are most highly correlated with each candidate.

  • They show what issues the nation is associating with each candidate.  Sometimes it is true that they focus on the Wow stories but we see that they are just as likely to be seriously discussing the real issues (taxes, God, wealth, etc).  Don’t underestimate the power of forums as a place everyday people share their fears and thoughts with others like them.  For example take a look at this discussion on Parenting.com’s forums

3. How does Online advocacy relate to traditional polls?

  • From one perspective, its apples and oranges, polls attempt to measure the outcome of the presidential election if it were held on a particular day, MQ is measuring the number of people who are advocating a particular candidate.
  • On the flip side, if you believe as we do that people advocating to each other is an important piece of the future success of brands, products (and candidates) then we hope to show that the candidate with the most advocates will be the winner of the election.
  • Important caveat, we don’t have an electoral college or battleground states so at best we can hope to use advocacy as an indicator of the popular vote.
  • Using the data from the CNN Poll of Polls as a comparison metric, HYPOTHETICALLY, let’s assume that CNN Poll of Polls represents “truth”, we can apply straight forward regression to determine if the Advocacy metric for Obama is statistically related to the Poll of Polls data.
  • Regression shows that Obama’s Online Promoter™ score is statistically significant in linkage to the CNN’s poll of Polls results at > 98%

  • Furthermore, we can look to see if perhaps MQ’s results might lead the traditional polling methods; the relation appears strongest at 4-days leading.

The strongest statistical link from Obama’s Online Promoter™ Score to the CNN Poll of Poll’s results appears when we make Obama’s

OPS a 4-day leading indicator of the Poll of Polls

Obviously this detailed post may raise even more questions – feel free to post them in the comments section.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,749 other followers