Ok, we are still stunned, ever since september 14th, the day we launched Social Media Around the World, a global study about the use of social media with 9000 participants. We are really, really amazed by all the positive remarks, the wow-effect and the amazing amount of downloads, compliments, embeds, tweets, leads, shares and likes on social media everywhere around the globe. In two weeks time, the Social Media Around the World 2011 study broke all InSites records (great work Marloes, Elias, Steven & Hannes). As I was on vacation, Steven owned the project and content planning. And we learned, for future projects. Here’s 7 observations and learnings about the study from a conversation management perspective.
First, let’s briefly discuss the objectives of conversation management and the conversation manager in these types of projects. From my perspective (just 5 months on the job) it’s creating a maximum impact with beautiful and interesting content. Managing both offline and online word of mouth, to get consumers to talk about brands (it’s InSites Consulting in this case). Trying to generate positive buzz and picking up commercial business opportunities where possible. A mix between pr, advertising, corporate communication and content marketing.
1 Before you do anything: decide on who’s the project’s content owner
If you want to have maximum impact on your whitepapers, blogposts or presentations, it’s best to make a roadmap together with the writer(s) on forehand. Planning in advance with a touchpoint check (e-mail lists, scoops, blogging, pressreleases) and a roadmap probably helps to spread the amount of conversations about the content in many branches via diverse media. This needs preparation and content/project ownership. It’s the job of a conversation manager to create a roadmap, choose the best platforms for maximum impact.
2 Paper press needs a different approach
Have the written press (and your clients, too, if you have interesting research findings about them) informed at least a couple of days before you want to publish. Written press thus might seem slow, but they plan well and far ahead. I’ve tried to get the story out on a more ad hoc way in some Dutch newspapers, but the score was zero. That should’ve been prepared more thoroughly.
3 Design rules
If you want your SlideShare embedded on big media and on regular newssites (we hit some regular newssites in Belgium and in The Netherlands), you have to make sure that your content is interesting, yes. But you also need a really slick design, I think. Hannes Willaert did a great job: if it wasn’t for his beautiful design, I’m convinced the success would have been limited and we would have never reached 230k views.
4 Being embedded on TechCrunch and other blogs helps
Ok, ok…. We also got lucky. It was only one short very late e-mail to TechCrunch Editor Robin Wauters (he’s from Belgium, and he likes InSites, this probably helps) with a text like: “Maybe you find this interesting. Let me know what you think…” He published, within 2 hours we were on TechCrunch, one of the most leading technology and mediablogs in the world next to Mashable. The article got tweeted more than a 1000 times. There were also a lot of other big blogs who posted about the study: in The Netherlands blogs like Marketingfacts, DutchCowboys and Frankwatching generated a lot of views.
5 The Long Tail is still working
Although Chris Anderson’s LongTail theory has been fiercely criticized in the last years, we see the LongTail effect coming to live in the embed-statistics at SlideShare on the one hand, and on Twitter and on the web on the other hand. We see TechCrunch and some techsite in the Ukraine lead with an amazing amount of embed-views . The aggregator paper.li followed by big Dutch marketing blogs is next. The ‘Tail’ here, is infinite: the SMATW2011 presentation gets embedded by a massive amount of smaller blogs and websites, together adding up to almost half of the views we had on the top 5. And this continues, because the story keeps being tweeted and embedded today.
6 Being on the front page of SlideShare really helps
Yes of course being featured on the front page of SlideShare really, really helps. For several days, the Social Media Around the world presentation got featured, and that boosted the amount of views! It probably also led to the publication at DitgitalBuzzBlog, one of the biggest trafficdrivers in embedviews so far!
7 SlideShare is a well-performing salestool
Yes, InSites Consulting is a firm that wants to grow, be the best talked about company in the world and we also want to be a healthy company that makes some profit. With 1,053 favorites, 116 comments, 10.419 downloads, 365k views on SlideShare, 191k views on embeds and 556k total views, we think the branding-InSites Consulting objective is very well obtained. But, what does a “view” tell us from a sales/commercial perspective? Not that much. It’s the amount of downloads that is most interesting. When you want to download the paper, you’r kindly requested to leave your name, company name and email adress behind. In this way, we’ve collected a lot of e-mail adresses: we contact them to start a conversation about the research, our methods and our company. A great way to do business, we think.
A big thank you
Again: we’d like to say thank you. For the interest in the topic, for the report, for all the nice and constructive feedback we received. We’ve learned a lot and as I tried to point out in this blogpost, not everything we tried was a huge success. As I look at it, we’ve came close in obtaining the objectives as mentioned above. We hope you like to read these learnings and are wondering what you think of them!