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University of Trento School of Economics and Management Master in International Management Academic Year 2012/2013


Social Media Strategy: channel analysis Company: U-Hopper Product: sQRmap

Students: Abera Alem Akhmetova Yulia De Sio Federica Meloni Sara

0. Introduction
The following report is intended to give further hints about the Social Media Strategy, already set up for sQRmap in terms of objective and general setting, and define a concrete way of implementation through the chosen Social Media channels. In particular, we will go through the use of Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Vkontact and give some tips for the future use of e-mail direct marketing. The aim of the strategy and its further steps is to exploit Social Medias potential for market penetration and advertising. Within this respect, the only geographical differentiation that has been made is about Russian market, where the most popular Social Media is Vkontact, analyzed below. Given its similarity to Facebook, same actions are advised to be undertaken in this context. For the other two markets, Germany and Italy, no geographically related differences in the use of Social Media have been detected. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that the strategy will run smoothly through the biggest channels. The particular structure of the reviews may vary, depending on the different characteristics of Social Media analyzed in turn. The general summary includes: presentation of the reasons why the particular channel has been chosen, in terms of what benefits it is able to bring to sQRmap advertising campaign; practical tips about how to effectively use the potential offered by each channel, in the perspective of saving time on future actions and reducing the number of trials; suggested measures for assessing effectiveness of the undertaken action (e.g. post, tweet, group entry..) in terms of re-actions (e.g. likes, shares, retweets...).

In this part we will start by illustrating the benefits of including task that involve the use of Linkedin in carrying out the Social Media marketing campaign that we believe will bear fruit in promoting sQRmap. We will then go on to suggest some Linkedin groups that might be helpful to join, as they present us with an audience of people that are open to innovation, marketers and experts of social media marketers, and any other group that might provide us with potential customers.

Linkedin Groups
Linkedin was born as a social networking website for people in professional occupations.

However allowing for the creation of groups, where people with the same interests or operating in the same professional field can get together and discuss issues of relevance to them, made it the best place to market ones business. Sources on the web 1 say that its not easy to incur into anti-spam measures, to the extent that there now exist a range of firms who offer a spamming service for this very purpose 2. Therefore given the wide audience that can be reached in Linkedin groups we might be able to advertise and promote sQRmap in interest groups. Moreover the advanced search of Linkedin, which allows you to search by industry, keywords, company and title, to mention a few, will allow us to target and get in touch only with the people that interest us and get the leads that we are seeking. Once we get the leads a good idea would be to get in touch with them through personal messages (a premium account is needed for this), however this would take a more personalized approach and more resources to be employed on this function. So we will keep it aside for now.

With more than a hundred million of members Linkedin is capable of generating numerous leads to your web-page and to other social media accounts. To take advantage of this opportunity we will adopt a two-step strategy. First step: join already existing groups of interest The first action to be undertaken will be joining groups that are relevant to sQRmaps business and industry. Interacting with the other members of the group quite frequently is important but this should be done in an intelligent way (following netiquette in short). We will start with a professional introduction of the company and of sQRmap, avoiding oversharing 3. In order to be able to fully exploit the potential of Linkedin it is important to try and earn the trust of other members. We suggest to actively participating in the groups, taking part in discussions, offering help and suggestions to fellow members. This can be done by using Linkedin Answers. Below are some smart tips to make the most of this tool: 1. Have a schedule and interact regularly, either weekly or daily
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2. Pick a handful of topics to focus on and become a heavy hitter in these sections of the site 3. Provide overly useful answers, pointing to many resources. The more helpful you are the more attention you will get from potential business partners and customers. 4. If you are acting as a company, use multiple people to support each other in discussion in a show of force. There is no need to game the system and just comment with attaboys and I agree. But having multiple employees with smart helpful discussion can only help your cause. 5. Make sure you dont go into sell mode and overwhelm other users by pushing your product constantly or aggressively. 6. Again, look for opportunities to reuse your answers and discussions as blog posts to keep the thought leadership going 4. So we said that regularly answering questions of other users can help you gain credibility. Linkedin allows you to monitor certain categories of questions and answer and whenever a question on a topic youre competent about pops up you can be the first to answer. Below is a screen-shot 5 of what the Answers application looks like and of some of the categories that you can monitor.

Upon identifying an interesting question we should follow the following tips to build powerful relationships through LinkedinAnwers:

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1. Research the person who asked the question, and find a way to tie in a personal response with something from their LinkedIn profile. 2. Be as helpful and resourceful as possible when answering the question. Give tips, website links with additional information, or even recommend someone who is the best expert on that topic. 3. Leave the answer with an open invitation for more communication by asking them to contact you privately if they need any extra help 6. We must aim at becoming top Influencers, that is to say group members whose contributions cause the most contributions from other group members 7 so we will focus on quality, rather than on quantity. The Top Influencers ranking updates every 3 hours and resets completely every Sunday at midnight 8. Once this has been done it will be easier to introduce our service, without giving the impression of having joined the group only to exploit it. Polls are another useful tool to convince the members of the group you are targeting that youve joined for engagement and not for spam and only blatantly promoting your product/service. Linkedin allows you to share not only the groups but any poll and discussion that you might have created extending the reach and increasing engagement opportunities even more. This will also help us create a wide network of professionals and of people. Creating these connections will be conducive of other connections that might translate in many new customers. Once well have earned a positive reputation we can start discussions. After doing some research we found these three useful practical tips: The title should be kept short to ensure that its eye catching; Some additional details should be provided, but kept to a minimum to keep users attention; Include links to the corporate web-site, blog, giving interested users an easy way to reach you 9. Measurement on Linkedin mainly regards the impact of ones Linkedin Groups participation, which can be measured by employing links and tracking tockens to see how many people click on the links one has shared 10. Suggestions of group of interest:
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Inbound Marketers Social Media Marketing Mobile marketing parlaitaliano Social media marketing Italia Mobile Marketing and Advertising Online Marketing Mobile marketing association

Second step: create a Linkedin Group After performing a search of Linkedin groups discussing about the topic of QR codes, we are convinced of the necessity of creating one where not only we will introduce members to the idea of qr codes but which we will use as a way to discuss the potential of offline to online campaigns and therefore of the service sQRmap. We suggest not creating a group exclusively dealing with sQRmap in order to make the group appealing to a wider section of Linkedin users. The group will be an open group to allow it to grow more easily and we will promote it on our existing channels while at the same time promoting our existing channels by posting about them in the group. It is suggested to invite brand champions and customers that have had positive experiences with sQRmap (once there will be some) to post and participate to discussions in the group from time to time. Of course setting up a group and moderating it go together, as does participating to discussions, answering to other members questions and so on. Creating a group will also help us get inspiration from the best and most recurring open discussions for blog posts and posts on the other social media 11.

With some variability at country level, data about usage of Twitter follow an upward trend: today the platform has 500 million registered users, even if only 140 million are active users 12. It makes twitter the second most frequented Social Media after Facebook. The purpose of the platform was initially general; it was not a social media, rather an instant

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messaging facility 13. Now it allows people to share brief sentences - their thoughts in 140 characters. Twitter is used by many companies to advertise their product and to drive online attention to their brands. Researches show that 50% of active users follow companies, brands, products and 67% of them are more likely to buy from businesses that they follow. Not to be understated, even the power of the word of mouth count in this picture: 79% of users will recommend to other users brands they follow 14. It is a cheap instrument, which can be used with low investment both in terms of financial as well as human resources. Following some practical tips may help to optimize ROI from Twitter campaign.

Reasons for using Twitter: what can be expected to be achieved

Twitter is regarded as the most effective instrument for giving exposure to business and gain a regular clientle 15. We want to use this instrument to engage with potential customers and prospects, enhancing the brand at the same time. The biggest opportunity deriving from the use of Twitter is that it helps Search Engine Optimization - with search engines being the main starting point for consumers business search - by promoting contents. This is the most effective instrument to target your sponsored contents to a global interested audience (we will see how in next paragraphs). Within this respect, quality of people you follow and follow you back, rather than quantity, is important. Engaging in direct conversations raises the exposure of your profile. However, even numbers are important, because they raise your credibility and make you more attractive to be followed back. Moreover, it allows your company to have direct and real-time reactions and feedbacks for adjusting content promotion strategy 16. Twitter is a powerful means to increase traffic through company website, by enhancing engagement and information level of consumers. It helps minimizing risk, by helping completeness of information and creating trust among your public, reading your tweets 17. However, some drawbacks arise due to the difficulties of people to directly relate to business and the fact that Twitter is not the right instrument for overselling your product. The strategy that you may want to implement for getting the most out of your Twitter followers is more
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indirect, than direct - you may also be willing to adopt a problem solving approach and suggest your product as a solution. Twitter is a very sharp tool for businesses running a blog 18. Since sQRmap already has one, this may be a useful starting point. The idea is that Twitter marketing strategy and blogging should be carried out hand by hand.

How to setup your Twitter campaign: step- by- step approach

First step: create a presence on Twitter SQRmap already has a twitter account, in addition to a dedicated website and a dedicated blog. We already have all the instruments needed for implementing our social media strategy. The Twitter profile looks good: it includes all references for the products (description and link to the website), the background is customized and the profile picture is that of the logo. It will be a good thing to have the same profile picture displayed in all social media channels, in order to enhance brand awareness. However, current bio description may be too obscure: exploiting all the possibilities 160 characters give, would probably be a better strategy to catch users attention and have the profile displayed more often in search results, both in Twitter search engine and in Googles. Note that it is advised to have some hashtags included in the description, for the same reason. In the case of sQRmap #mobile, #mobilead, #QRcodes will be appropriate. Worth to notice, some people, such as @jeffbullas, advise to keep your product Twitter profile personal 19, by putting personal pictures and trying to engage people with a direct personal approach, rather than business. The reason for this is that people are more likely to investigate about real persons or brands they trust, while they avoid spammers or business accounts created only for promotional purposes. However, we would better suggest keeping the product account as it is. It is true that personal attitude usually drives more reactions and responses but we do not personally think people are uncomfortable at engaging with business account. Some successful examples of business tweets driving high number of responses can be easily presented. A mediation between the two approaches can be made: for example, you could set up an account keeping @sqrmap, but using your name and surname as id displayed 20.

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Take also into consideration to have different accounts, if you will be willing to tweet in different languages. Indicating the location may be useful for getting offline contact of people willing to get personally in touch. Putting the address also helps to add a flavour of concreteness to the profile. Second step: Locate an Interested Audience 21 It is of basic importance to construct an audience for your tweets, however, tweeting and being followed back are more contemporaneous than sequential, therefore you cannot think to wait for a critical mass to be reached to start tweeting. At the beginning, try to focus to big users of interest, such as @techcrunch, @mashablemobile and expand your audience with niche-related users. We personally suggest for your sector @MobileMktrDaily, @ScanLife, @comScore but we found them with a simple Twitter search, using Keywords about a specific area. You can use this tool also typing sentences input, because people use to clearly define what they are looking for on Twitter 22. Moreover, there are also third-parties websites (we advise We follow and Twellow, but also check 23), which allow you to look for new users browsing them by category, but the main drawback is that for being ranked they must have registered their account. On the other hand, it is advisable to have @sqrmap registered, in order to be more easily found by other users. Other instruments, such as Socialbro, allow you to perform even a more detailed search, but fee for subscription is needed 24. While you are creating your community, you can use Twitter lists 25 for organizing people according to the topic they tweet about. You can either create private or public lists public is more advisable, because people would notice it. With Hootsuite and Tweetdeck you can create streams out of lists and hashtags* as well, in order to monitor relevant activities.
*Note on hashtags : They are used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet, in order to categorize messagges. People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.

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Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword. Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending topics

Third step: Engage with your Interested Audience Here are some tips about strategies that you may want to implement for creating engaging contents to tweet about. Some of them are simple and common sense, but they have been selected in order to act as reminds. About contents: Conversation strategy 27 for sQRmap may include breaking news contents, blog related entries, promotion (in the sense of sQRmap related tweets). It would be necessary to keep attention to engagement by tweeting questions and answers to followers question 28. Note that the measure of engagement is sometimes taken as the number of private messages you get and answer to. About Tweet rhythm: It should be consistent and spread throughout the day. Remember that you can always use tools such as scheduled post, available in both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. As the Social Media guru @TinHangLiu explained in a seminar he held at Trento University, best time to tweet is on weekends, lunch-break hours and evenings, because more people than in work hours is active on Twitter. Tools such as Socialbro allow you to know when most of your followers are online and therefore choosing the best time to tweet. You may be willing to check out Buffer, as tool for scheduling and automatically thanking people for retwitting, if you want to achieve even more visibility 29. Fourth step: enlighten your interested audience While breaking the news and be the first to provide information can be a good strategy, a better one is to create or relate to valuable contents that do not make your tweet immediately outdated. Especially for what regard blog entries or industry related articles (yours or not), you may be willing to sponsor them to your interested followers and in this way create a reliable presence. In the case you are sharing third-parties contents, it would be appropriate to refer to them and thank them. Following the Twitter etiquette, you should also retweet your closest followers.

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Twitterfeed is a tool that allows you to automatic retweet a content from a RSS source you trust 30. Your aim should be to represent a point of reference for your audience on Twitter. Drive attention to sQRmap as good solution for mobile advertising needs, as milestone in marketing instrument for professionals of the sector by educating your followers and providing them with some relevant materials on the topic. Once you have effectively selected your audience, you are pretty sure that they will find your content interesting. The graph below shows the three elements you need to drive reactions. The first one is exposure and deals with the number of followers you succeed to have. The second one is attention, and this is related with the amount of tweets you post per day. The third one is the point that you want to reach, is related with enlightment mission . 31


Fifth step: measuring and monitoring In previous report we set up objectives we would like to reach in our twitter campaign. Now we indicate the instruments through which measuring them.

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We are interested in number of followers, rate of growth of our community, number of tweets per day, number of retweets and favourites of our posts Some of the instruments mentioned before, such as Hootsuite, allow you to have some analytics regarding your account, even if the free version is not complete in all its functionalities. Socialbro seems to be even a better one. We would like to turn the attention to Klout, as tool for measuring user influence, just for making a remark about the fact that some people raised concerns about its unbiasdeness 32.

Integrating your social media channels with your email can provide the best of both worlds 33. Most chief marketing officers know that e-mail marketing is still a very effective marketing tool and in fact a survey revealed that CMOs still consider it as a top priority in their marketing plans for 2010 34. The real benefit of social media is its ability to leverage your message and amplify your content as people spread it on their social networks. Whereas with email, your reach is equal to your list size, with social media, your reach is equal to your followers, fans, subscribers plus all of their connections, which gives your campaigns more leverage through people consuming and sharing content 35 GetResponse conducted a survey and found that integrating social media by introducing sharing buttons in e-mail produced a greater than 30% improvement in click through rates 36. The average click-through-rate (CTR) was 115% higher for emails that included any social link; 5.6% CTR for emails including social sharing icons; 37 2.6% CTR for those that do not include social sharing buttons . In order to optimize their email marketing campaign and social media companies should perform the following actions after ascertaining which social media their customers and potential customers use and setting up profiles on each of these.

Reasons for using e-mail marketing: what can be expected to be achieved

Integrating and optimizing Social Media with e-mail campaigns will result in 38:
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An increase the number of mentions in social media The number of subscribers to a companys social media profiles will rise and A jump in the amount of traffic and leads from social media sites (for this lead generation type of content) due to that buzz on these sites. Summarizing the following are some ways to integrate social media and e-mail marketing 39 Broadcast your blog entries via e-mail Add social media channel subscribe buttons on your e-mail newsletter such as follow us on Twitter Place a link to your e-mail newsletters on your social media pages such as Facebook Send out e-mail newsletters that are excerpts to your blog with links to each post Include social media share options in your e-mail newsletter Provide e-mail sign up options in your companys social media channels such as your Facebook page When asking for an e-mail opt-in option at your company call center also offer a social media opt-in option Use the sidebar on your e-mail-marketing newsletter to list and link to all your companys social-networking profiles Use your purchase is successful confirmation e-mails to link to your social media help forums or YouTube video tutorials Provide an option for customers to join your social media networks on your e-mail newsletter registration page

How to setup your e-mail marketing campaign: step- by- step approach
Step 1: Add links in the emails sent out to customers to follow or subscribe to the companys social media profiles. It follows that people already subscribing to your emails will most likely follow you in social media so its important to let them know where they could find you. Social media also gets a leg up on email in that an email address may not stick with someone as they move from one job to another, but social media profiles and subscriptions will. Step 2: Add links/sharing buttons in your emails to post your content to these social media sites. Make it easy for your recipients to share the content with their networks on these social media sites.

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Step 3: Integrate social media at all stages of the communication. Follow the user from the email to the landing page* and conversion 40.
*Look into the use of Lead Capture pages (by seeing who fills out the forms in the Lead Capture pages you can have a clue of whos visiting your advertisement campaigns, visiting your page etc..) + Put AdTrackers in the emails (As your subscribers receive your letters, they click the AdTracker URL in the letter. This is what is known as a click-through (someone clicks the link to go through to your website). Each time someone clicks the AdTracker 41 URL in any letter or ad, your systemkeeps track . See

Companies today have the opportunity to interact with consumers on different social networks and being the number one social network website with over one billion users (as of October 2012) 42 Facebook stands up front. Among the total one billion users, 600 million are mobile users allowing them to visit Facebook frequently 43. Based on these facts Facebook should be part of any social media marketing plan, if not the most important. The fact that businesses can create Facebook page for their products free of charge is another plus. Benefits of having Facebook page Currently companies can create Facebook page for their products free of charge. Being able to create a Facebook page in the largest social media without any cost and interact with potential customers is a big advantage to small businesses like sQRmap. The Facebook page will help to increase awareness of customers about sQRmap and QR codes in general by interacting with potential and existing customers. Companys presence on Facebook helps to increase traffic to website, improves search engine rankings enabling customers to find your business not only on social media but also on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. With millions of users every day, Facebook can be the perfect medium to lunch viral marketing campaigns. It also helps companies to gain consumer insights. 44 Apart from the free services Facebook allows paid ads targeting a specific group of people based on age, personal interests and more. Facebook's advertising platform keeps a record of all like activities allowing companies to access this data and produce more highly-targeted
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ads. It helps companies to achieve a greater degree of relevance with their advertising. 45 Facebook can also examine user profiles to place your ads only on pages that mention a specific keyword. 46 Promoting posts is also another new form of paid ad on Facebook. Businesses with more than 400 likes on Facebook can access this in order to have their brand viewed by the public more easily and effectively. Step one - Creating and promoting Facebook page In order to get the benefits provided by Facebook businesses should create their presence by opening a Facebook page for free. sQRmap has already opened a Facebook page and the next task is promoting the page. The different techniques that help promote Facebook page will be discussed below.

Strategies to promote presence on Facebook

Mentioning Follow me on Facebook Everywhere: 47 Adding a clickable link at the end of every post, blog or website and asking the reader to become a fan of your product on Facebook is one of the effective methods to increase your number of fans. This can be done using Social Plugins widgets which would help insert that link at every post automatically. In addition, telling customers to follow on email signatures, newsletters and printed ads can also increase followers. Using status tagging: 48 This is a new feature introduced by Facebook and another way to find followers. We can tag popular pages or individuals related to QR codes, social media marketing or related areas by simply typing the @ sign before the page or individual's name we want to tag. The status updates will be visible to the fans of the tagged page or individual and we may find some fans who like your page. Connecting Facebook to Twitter: 49 its possible to convert your Twitter followers into your Facebook Fans by connecting your Facebook page to your Twitter account using different applications. Then whenever you update your status, post a photo, link, make a note or make any new event on your Facebook page, a tweet will be sent out by your Twitter profile automatically to let your followers know what is going on, on your Facebook page. Other
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than connecting your Facebook page to your Twitter profile, you can also put a link in your About Me on Twitter, which might also bring in some fans to your Facebook page.

Facebook Ads: Facebook ads are a form of paid advertising, allowing companies to choose the basic demographics of the audience they want to address, helping to reach people who arent connected to the page yet increasing chance of placement in the news feed. Promoting Posts is also a new paid feature of Facebook which can be used by Facebook pages with more than 400 likes on Facebook. It helps companies to have their brand viewed by the public more easily and effectively. 50 Joining Facebook groups: Joining popular groups in your niche and making useful posts on the wall and in the discussion boards also helps to find new fans. Posts will stay on some discussion boards for quite a while, and lots of people will see your posts with your links and this will generate good traffic to your page.
Using Suggest feature: Inviting and suggesting groups, individuals and friends who have

interest about QR codes will increase the number of followers.

Step two Strategies for effective engagement with Audiences

After opening our Facebook page and get some followers the next step that should be considered is how to stay in touch with our followers, what kind of information should be posted on our page to engage our audiences ... Timing of post: 51 Timing is extremely important when it comes to posting on facebook. A research by Buddy Media reveals that one of the ways to create the most effective engagement for businesses when interacting with their fans on Facebook is to post during times when fans are not at work and between the hours of 8pm and 7am. Posting during non busy days and hours helps to increase engagement level of audiences. The reduced posting frequency by brands on the weekend and evening time periods reduces clutter, and using these times can create more opportunity to catch a Fan's attention. Content of post 52: Customers want to be informed and engaged and the way companies communicate with them matters. Rather than a simple status post or links, images have high
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potential to engage audiences. So mixing up status updates with photos or videos can increase engagement. posting news or stories related to your business and providing unique commentary or insight also increases engagment. Frequency of post: 53 The frequency of posts has an impact on the way customers react and the level of engagement. When you first launch your page, you may start off by posting once a day and see how your fans respond to that. If necessary you may increase your posting frequency to several times a day or you may decrease your posts to several times a week. The idea is to find the rhythm that is right for your fans. Call to Action: 54 Call to actions instill psychological nudges that help marketers drive their audience to respond the way that they want to. When updating Facebook page status include call to action, audiences tend to respond better when they are given specifics as to what to respond, for example telling them to like, tag, share or comment ro asking questions.

Step three - Measuring effectiveness

Social media marketing is only valuable for businesses if companies use it to meet specific objectives. such as an increase in the number of fans, an increase in feedback likes, or shares, or a boost in website traffic. One of the ways to measure the degree to which a posts effectiveness on Facebook is to measure the number of likes, comments or shares it generates. There are many ways that can be used to measure how effectively we are using our Facebook such as Facebook Insights, Hootsuite, Klout etc and we have already discussed every tool in our first report.

5. Conclusion
In this report we went through social networks, chosen for sQRmap social media campaign. We highlighted the benefits brought by each social network, after presenting general facts of each social media. Then, we discussed in detail the strategy to be adopted, with respect to each item. This includes how to set up the presence, content creation and management and, finally, how to measure the results of the action in each social environment. We are planning to start the campaign on December 1st/2012 and hit the set targets by the end of the year.

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