Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | No Comments »
Throughout this blog we have focused on the social media aspects of the “Rough. Real. Remote.” video series and the work related to the campaign launched through especially Facebook and Twitter.Now we are at the end of the first coherent, collaborative social media campaign ever launched in Greenland.
Where do we go from here?
The answer is quite common-sensical but nevertheless it is not one often given in a world where likes, comments, shares and the immediacy of fast B2C relationships still seem to dominate success criteria for social media engagement.
We simply suggest using the power of the high value intersections in-blog to move outside the boundaries of the social media sphere and start building more organic relationships with those B2B connections established throughout the push.
This basically means using whatever relevant, shared channels of communication that are available in each specific relationship, and it especially means being willing to take the next step and explore offline intersections that can create business opportunities for both you and the potential partner.
In order to see mutual benefits from expanding the relationship from a conversational basis to discussing business potentials, we assume that both we, and the company we have met through the social media interaction, are well aware of our own brand values and the platform it creates for ourselves.
Taking this step thus means sharpening our “why” before we venture down a narrower path than the wide open social media road that was so well suited for separating those first solid leads from a vast group of transient potentials.
But it also means honing in on business opportunities, and for a small destination management office like ours it means establishing links to the outside world that not only improves brand awareness, but it also improves the awareness among companies with a defined interest in adventure travel values, the Arctic, and maybe even specifically in values directly connected with Greenland.
This path is the slow road and very different from the power of the now practiced in traditional B2C social media marketing and engagement where “calls-to-action are about making a purchase, not about expressing interest.” [from the B2B blog]
The B2B strain of the activities that go beyond social media engagement mark a vital departure from the sense of urgency associated with social media, since, and again this is something we learned from the brilliant SocialMediaB2B blog: B2B buying cycles can be as long as 18 months of sustained dialogue between the involved partners, based on conversations that all began with more or less casual social media intersections.
So, now we are ready to follow up on the immediate success of the actual campaign. A campaign that helped put Greenland a bit more on the vast global map of adventures but which must now show its value in the long run by providing us with enough momentum to sustain meaningful conversations online and offline with those new stakeholders that we hope to do business with in the near future.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: b2b, b2c, beyond social media engagement, engagement, smitw2011, social media | No Comments »
Looking at the brand in the context of social media conversations we found it important to take a bird’s eye view of what we were trying to achieve with the connections that the campaign started to produce.
For Greenland in general, and for Destination Arctic Circle more specifically, one of the main barriers towards building lasting relationships with international partners is to raise the level of awareness outside Greenland to a level where people take note of our existence.
As the videos started gaining ground with the travel community and spread outside the Facebook and Twitter communities, where we initially launched them, journalists, bloggers, tour operators, and people in the outdoor gear business started responding to our content with enthusiasm and positive feedback.
At this point we reached a critical juncture in the entire project, and even in the short life of the Rough. Real. Remote. brand, since now was the time to start acting on the basis of the value platform we had built with out branding.
This platform consists of both core destination values, our existing product landscape, and the profiles and needs of local tour providers. Taken together these made it possible for us to look for similar interests, values, and goals among those engaging with our content
In terms of the roadmap we had come to the part of the road where oncoming traffic was now so significant that we had to start slowing down and spend more time with each connection.
A part of this was the B2C element which was about engaging with both those consumers joining our contest and those interested in Greenland and Destination Arctic Circle. However, in this blog we won’t spend time with the B2C side of the project since many others have covered this topic extensively and well, including blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Mashable, Brian Solis, the B2C blog, and many, many more (plus, of course. hundreds of books on the topic of social media marketing).
From the outset we had decided that the B2B (Business-2-Business) intersections would be our first priority and this made it possible for us to start leveraging new connections to create meaningful relationships that will eventually lead to business for the tour providers in our destination.
One of the ways we did this was to keep track of the kinds of conversations generated by our campaign, and we registered every potential B2B relationship, including media connections, in our MasterTracker.
Keeping a list like this proved invaluable since the assembly of potentials could quickly be reviewed and we could begin doing blitz researching along the road to capture info about people we met. This allowed us to quickly uncover what potential future partners might hold the most value for our brand and products.
The consequences, and ultimately also the end gains, of structuring your work this way is nicely summed up by the Social Media B2B bloggers:
“The goal for most B2B marketers is to convert prospects into customers. Because the sales cycle is longer, B2B companies need to focus on relationships as part of that process. Communication with prospects, engaging them, educating them and leading them towards purchase creates the foundation for a long term relationship. And in many situations, the social media relationship continues past the sale through support, updates and continuing education.”
Getting to the point where you are ready to identify and reach out to those intersecting with your social media road means laying down the foundation through translation of your brand values into content that can be shared online. And once that content is out there you start looking for stakeholders who, through their interaction with your content and this with your brand values, could become potential partners.
Some of those potentials will never be converted into strategic relationships, but while many intersections are only fleeting a few will stick. Throughout the Rough. Real. Remote. campaign we have learned that the most viable partnerships are those where both sides have brand values at stake and where those brand values provide mutual value enhancement.
In short: It has to work both ways or the intersection will soon lose value for one or both parties involved.
Or, as Chris Noble from World Nomads so eloquently says: What matters most is finding those that share your values and identifying what will resonate with them so you can make an emotional attachment to them. And in order to do so you must know the “why” of your existence and of why people will care about what you can offer.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: b2b, high value intersections, smitw2011 | No Comments »
We assumed (and, we think, assumed correctly) that we needed to incentivize online users to view our content. We knew that people interested in Greenland or the Arctic would be inspired about our videos, what what about those who might not ordinarily give Greenland a second thought? An opportunity at free stuff might get their attention.
So, we decided to include a competition. When you think about it, many online campaigns for tourism destinations are actually based around a competition, where the prize is a trip to the destination (Best Job in the World, Snow at First Sight, etc).
Defining the Goals of the Competition
Our number one goal was to increase awareness of the destination. We knew we were developing great content, we also knew (because we are guilty of this ourselves) how short the attention span of online users is, so we wanted to create a way for people to carefully watch the content, or even watch it more than once. Secondly, we wanted to capture leads and to learn more about the people interested in Greenland.
Defining the Details
Our competition went like this:
- In five of the six videos we hid a Tupilak (a traditional greenlandic carving).
- Viewers had to spot the Tupilak
- They took a screen shot or wrote down the minute and second at which the tupilak appeared n the film and emailed “us” (email@example.com) with their answer – and more than 1,300 people did this over the 6-week course of the contest
- Each week a winner was drawn at random for a weekly prize and the grand prize winner (for a trip to Greenland with Arne & Stefan) was drawn at random from entrants from all the weeks
* In the snowmobiling episode, Rough Riders, there was no good opportunity to hide the Tupilak / we forgot about him so we instead asked “ What’s the Greenlandic word for snowmobile?” (Answer: Qamutit). We had substantially less entrants that week than any other week.
We consulted a lawyer to make sure we weren’t breaking any Facebook rules (the two most important rules when running an FB promotion: you can notify the winners over Facebook and you can’t use Facebook mechanisms, such as “liking,” or “friending” as a condition of entry or a way to choose the winner.) To be extra safe, we promoted the competition over Facebook, but had people enter (and notified) via email and hosted the rules on a subsite of our website.
Learning about our target markets
We found that we learned a lot about the people interested in Greenland and those who are finding information about Greenland on social channels through our competition entrance process. When contestants entered the competition they had to send an email with their age and country. We received emails from all over the world from El Salvador to Japan to Poland to Australia.
We often were saying to ourselves, “How did this 72 year old woman from Toronto find out content over Facebook!?” or this “How does an 18 year old from Australia know how to say snowmobile in Greenlandic?”
More than any other group, older women entered the competition. But they were savvy enough to take screen shots and email them in. Here are some insight into the demographics of the competition participants:
- ⅔ Male, ⅓ Female
- 18% were males between the ages of 26-35 – a highly desirable adventure segment!
- 10% were women over 46.
- 74 people entered more than once and 13 people entered all six times, including the Rough Riders episode.
- 32% of entrants came from Denmark; the next most represented country was USA with 13% of all entrants;
Ultimately, a 63 year old Grandmother of two from California won the grand prize trip to Greenland. She won fair and square but we were especially excited because we hope her involvement next year will help appeal to our most captive audience even more.
Having Conversations with Our Audience
When entering the competition, entrants had to email “Inuk the Tupilak.” We gave him a quirky voice, and a slightly mischievous personality.
We had a “canned response” that everyone received, including a small reminder of the competition rules. However, if someone asked a question or made a comment – we responded in kind and this allowed us to engage in some meaningful, authentic conversations with consumers about Greenland.
While the quantity of B2C conversations via the competition was low, the quality was high.
We mistakenly assumed that with a competition, people would be more incentivized to share the content. However, since by sharing the competition they decreased their chances of winning a trip to Greenland, we inadvertently disincentivized people to share the content. Next time, we will include a benefit to sharing or make sharing a condition for entering.
2) The length
Our competition ran for six weeks, which was too long. Our goal had been to maximise the content we developed, but we saw a steady decrease after the first week of views and competition entries. In hindsight, a two week time frame may have been more appropriate.
3) The prize
Our friend Scott Adams at Birchbark Media has a useful rule of thumb for prizes and competitions – the level of effort to enter should match the size of the prize. We feel that the level of effort needed to enter our competition fit the prize well – and this was a key to success, since the barrier to enter was low and enjoyable and the prize was substantial.
Our competition was purely, 100% social. We did not use any paid advertising. This was probably a mistake. We could have used a Facebook Ad to promote the competition, and we may have seen higher number of entries.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: competition, contest, smitw21011, tupilak | No Comments »
This time around we talk about website analytics, URL shorteners, and our selfmade tool the MasterTracker.
This one was a no-brainer for us, since our main website is on a customized WordPress platform, and Google Analytics integrates so very well into this universe, it is free, and it is easy to pick through data sets and export them for use offline, that we never considered anything else.
You might be tempted to find a paid service that does it all for you, but remember that for us we had to always consider the costs for paid subscriptions in a world where most of the best tracking and monitoring services are free.
We used Google Analytics with care, since the options and data-combos seem almost endless, and before we started doing any analytics through Google we went over our project goals and used them to select only a few, but for us invaluable, data points, which ended up being:
- General geographical stats for all of arcticcircle.gl from the Map Overlay
- General stats from the Content Overview including Total Visits, Unique Visits, Pageviews, Pages per visit, Average time on site, Bounce Rate, and % of New visitors
- Top Landing and Exit Pages
- Drilldown stats for each film-landing page including Pageviews, Unique views, Time on page, Bounce Rate, % Exit, Direct Traffic, and Referring Sites
Bit.ly, ow.ly and all those URL shorteners
There’s a large and growing number of shorteners available and our only recommendation is to find one you like, stick to it, and use it consistently.
You can choose between the likes of ow.ly, fb.me, tinyurl.com, bit.ly, goo.gl (note the Greenland connection?), tiny.cx and so on and on, and for our project we went with ow.ly for all our Twitter links while we used bit.ly for everything else.
We decided to allocate the ow.ly shortener to the twitter links because ow.ly is a Hootsuite dedicated service, and because it made us able to see link stats specifically for our tweets when we were using the same long URLs for both tweets and FB updates.
Bit.ly was made our choice of URL shortener for everything non-Twitter because we really like it’s free (just create an account) custom-link service. But we particularly also like how the folks at bit.ly provide excellent tracking of the link performance even as far as showing how the link is used in tweets and shares on Facebook. And bit.ly can even pull in stats for remakes of the original bit.ly link when other users decide to tweak the link when sharing it so you get an stat overview of all editions of the original shortened link.
Here’s a tool we could find nowhere out there but which became our Grand Central for all things tracking throughout the campaign and in the analysis phase that followed: The MasterTracker.
We call it the MasterTracker because it is a fairly extensive Google Spreadsheet that holds all data we pulled from Vimeo, Hootsuite, and Google Analytics plus a list of all media mentions and intersections made that needed follow ups.
(Any spreadsheet software could be used, we just love Google Docs since it’s so nice to work in a realtime online environment when the team is spread out from Argentina via Denmark to Switzerland and Greenland).
The MasterTracker is our most valuable post-campaign tool and from the depths of the data collected here were are able to do analyses on different levels, feeding data from the tracker into small graphs or large infographics to be used throughout the reporting and documenting phase of the project.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: smitw2011, social media tools | No Comments »
Social media dashboard
Ver yearly in the process, long before the content was properly conceived and planned we decided that we needed a dashboard from where we could all post, comment, and monitor our social media conversation – and so a long hunt for the ever evasive perfect tool began.
We tested things like Raven Tools, TweetDeck, Seesmic, Hootsuite, and Sendible while quickly dismissing enterprise sized solutions such as Vocus, Syncapse, Lithium (former Scoutlabs), Radian6, and Awareness.
The latter half were simply too expensive and big for us, but all of the first five soon became serious contenders for our social media dashboard, which we were hoping could become our shared publishing and monitoring tool for everything running through Twitter and Facebook.
Eventually we settled for Hootsuite, which proved not without a few hiccups along the way – including the well documented issue of no-images-in-posts problem, login issues (that always seemed to happen when we were on the road and the account administrator was unavailable), and (temporarily) botched tracking reports.
But even with the bugs Hootsuite brought along we found it to be a very valuable tool. From Hootsuite we published every tweet and Facebook update to the streams used for the push, and we could plan and schedule every post and tweet for the entire project through the built-in calendar function.
This freed up our resources to join the social media conversation once the campaign started rolling instead of having to make innovate updates on a daily basis, and on this account Hootsuite worked really well.
From within Hootsuite, as with several of the other services mentioned above, we could also what members of them had replied to a tweet, continued a conversation on Facebook, etc. This meant that we could easily see if something was left hanging in one of the channels, and any team member could move in and respond, retweet, favorite, like, or whatever.
We also decided to pay for customized tracking reports through Hootsuite in order to collect specified data sets from across all Twitter and Facebook accounts in use, and while the costs have been more than $120 a month for our customized level of reporting we have considered it a good trade-off since otherwise we might have never collected as much valuable data if we had to do it manually through Facebook and Twitter.
Video – the case of Vimeo
Here’s a platform and a tool we truly love. Not only is Vimeo a user-friendly, hassle-free interface, behind the scenes it is als geared towards providing easily accessible and highly customizable stats for users small and large.
This makes the stats module is a lot of fun to use with its flash-animated graphs and pretty colors, and while it may sound like we never got past looking at colored graphs, the truth is that the way the Vimeo stats are designed to work makes them all the more compelling to use. So here’s a tool we highly recommend paying for with a VimeoPlus account.
Our reasons above for choosing Vimeo are of course highly idiosyncratic and you could of course also go for YouTube. In fact, we chose not to exclude any of the two largest video sharing sites and therefore also posted all the vids in our separate YouTube channel once they went up on Vimeo. But our choice of main channel was Vimeo because we felt the look and feel of their platform and especially their embedded player worked better with the Rough. Real. Remote. brand.
Whatever your choice of channel make sure that it meets your needs, and check out the Plus, Pro, etc. features offered – there’s tons of goodies under the hood.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: facebook, hootsuite, mastertracker, smitw2011, social media tools, twitter, vimeo, youtube | No Comments »
Tracking your social media campaign is vital if you want to understand how your content and activities perform both in real-time and in retrospect. Setting up a system of metrics is not just for the number-crunching lovers on your team, it is also an important framework for analyzing where your content goes and if those spheres of interaction could open new doors to going beyond social media engagement and help you create more business.Tracking can be done in as many ways as there are projects, and as we will describe in the next two posts about tracking tools to meet your metrics goals we went with a set of platforms and indicators that we felt would best serve our needs.
And needs is an important word: Why are you tracking something, and for what will you use the tracked data? Before you breathe life into a huge tracking monster, consider what core metrics will give you the best understanding of the goals you’ve set up for the project.
We would also suggest weeding out all the things that will only serve as extra layers of data, and avoid spending time with too many different metrics. Keep it simple and strictly defined by your project goals. That way you’re more likely to spend time during and after the campaign understanding the all the valuable information that lives inside the eons of data you will most definitely generate.
We set up tracking well before the campaign started, both to have a set of benchmarks that we could use with key quantitative indicators relating to visitor stats on the main website, and to benchmark the amount of followers, comments, likes, etc., on Facebook and Twitter across the three team member organizations.
But the pre-campaign tracking was also a way to test our ability to manage and analyze the incoming data and to get rid of overkill elements.
As we felt more and more assured that we had the tracking parameters needed for our metrics we sealed off the tracking compartment in order to avoid a slow data creep throughout the project.
If you don’t use the same data sets, or if you start adding new sets along the way, you will run into trouble at the end of the road once you want to use those numbers to for instance help you make the case for sponsor ROI, funding for new projects, data reporting, etc.
In the next two posts we will go into more detail about the specific tools we used and the tracking parameters we chose from the huge array of potentials out there.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: campaign management, metrics, smitw2011, tracking | No Comments »
We treated our potential ambassadors like we’d treat any influencer – with personal, customized emails, tweets, and Facebook messages, and our ambassador goal was to find a group that would likely inspire others in their closest network to listen, learn, and engage.
For the ambassador group we also used parameters such as geolocation, age, sex, network size, number of Twitter followers, response rate on profiles, types of friend engagement with posts, etc. to single out a core group of roughly 30 people.
We then contacted each of the ambassadors with a brief outline of the content we were about to start sharing through their chosen social media channels. And we added personal encouragements to share the upcoming films, photos, and stories, and to give all shared content a personal spin that would personalize the outgoing message.
This produced a group of strong ambassadors, all of whom we knew personally and were connected to in our immediate networks, and they helped us spread each film to a much larger audience than we could have hoped to do on our own.
While this may sound purely focused on the quantity of views, shares, likes, etc., the wider goal was to use that quantifiable reach to create a platform to spread content beyond the borders of Greenland, hence improving awareness of the Rough. Real. Remote. brand.
Once we had the films circulating in the social media sphere we found it much easier to identify potentially valuable connections that we had not seen before since people and companies we had not reached before were now engaging with our content.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: ambassadors, reaching your audience, smitw2011 | No Comments »
But how do we define these concepts, and what lies beneath the terms? Let’s begin with influencers, which we found a bigger challenge to identify and reach than the ambassadors which we will describe below.
Brian Solis says of influencers that “while it’s important to have a large network to spread a message as wide as possible it’s even more important to have a smaller more concentrated network to make things happen. It’s the age old axiom of quality versus quantity.”
The next step is to narrow the field down to a group of people who will have specific interests in sharing your content in ways that will simultaneously strengthen their social capital and generate engagement based on the same social capital that draws users to their blog, website, etc.
We found this to be a challenge since reaching influencers is not done through presswires or a “write once, distribute to thousands” approach, but through careful selections of direct interaction with people who we thought likely to share our interest in adventure travel, short films, and Greenland.
This trio of factors helped us sort through potential contacts as we worked our way through bloggers and media people, Facebook groups, tweeters, and industry connections, and ultimately we settled on a short list of people we hoped would pick up and retell one or more of the narratives told through the six films.
From our experience, what matters most in the process of identifying and reaching out to influencers is to always use your branding platform and its values to evaluate who would be the right people to engage with, and then to single out the pieces of quality content that will fit with each targeted influencer.
Each influencer is a stakeholder and a potential market booster, even a possible buyer of your products or services, and you should treat them as valuable, personal connections that are indifferent and may even hostile to spam and impersonal messages.
In the next post we’ll cover the topic of reaching out to ambassadors as a group of stakeholders different from influencers.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: influencers, reaching your audience, smitw2011 | No Comments »
Once your project team and its main partners are in agreement over the key messages and the key emotions you want your audience to be left with, you can move into the practical task of creating content.
Our content was based around six films, but we also had a Flickr stream, a blog, and daily Facebook and Twitter posts, and for every channel we considered frequency and tone, and made sure the posts were timed and not duplicated.
While videos are a more expensive option, we had a skilled videographer, with a history of capturing the spirit of Greenland, and we knew that an investment in his time would be worth it.
But most importantly we wanted our content to be more than just a compelling video: it needed to be so relevant for viewers that they would want to go out and be able to recreate the experience on the ground here in Destination Arctic Circle. We are promoting tourism experiences, so we wanted to promote activities that any tourist could have access to.
Our six films followed the course of an adventure itinerary, where the adventurers Arne Hardenberg and Stefan Gimpl spent a night on the Ice Cap, a couple days dogsledding, a spectacular day of heli skiing, two days exploring contemporary local culture (one day in Sisimiut and one in Kangaamiut) and a day snowmobiling in the Sisimiut backcountry.
For the videos we included key facts in text overlay and used only Greenlandic music for the soundtracks to enhance the viewer experience and make the content both more compelling and informative.
In creating our content, we also embedded our tactic for deeper engagement in the shape of a small hidden bone carving called a tupilak. In each episode (except for the Rough Riders snowmobile film) the tupilak served as the starting point for our competition (more on the specifics of that in a later post.
There was no talking in our videos, and there was a lot of information we wanted to share! So for each episode we included a blog post in the shape of “field notes”, told from either Stefan or Arne’s position. They included behind the scenes anecdotes, details on the experiences, fun facts, and travel diary entries.
While the main spectacle of the campaign was surely the six videos, the blog provided content that was necessary for setting the scene to those who were searching for a better understanding of our Greenlandic context. As it turned out those few people who were really digging into our content were also the ones mostly likely to share it and ultimately come visit the destination – so catering content to those might have been time consuming but it was well worth it.
Each day for the six weeks of the campaign, from June 7 till July 18 2011, we posted on Facebook and Twitter. We had three Facebook pages (Destination Arctic Circle, Adventure Greenland by Air Greenland and ILoveGreenland by Visit Greenland) and two Twitter feeds (@dacgreenland and @ilovegreenland).
We strove to make the content different for each channel, or at least variations on the same thing. Furthermore, we prepared all posts ahead of time, literally in a word document that was uploaded into the publishing software Hootsuite for scheduled posts.
This was valuable exercise, because it prevented us from struggling each day with content. It was also important to post something every day to keep our audience engaged, and preparing posts for the entire campaign made this much easier to do while also freeing up time to be available for the everyday conversations across the various social media channels.
People love photos, and as we realize every day, its impossible to take a bad photo in Greenland.
We had thousands of photos from the trip, which we eventually singled down to twenty select pics from each episode to go with the video content. We focused on photos that were not part of the videos as such in order to provide different content on Flickr, and we linked everything on Flickr back to the Vimeo video channel and vice versa.
Although the content on each of the channels was different, it worked together in a flow across different platforms, and everything was timed in relation to our ideas of how each specific channel worked for us. Facebook/Twitter posts were daily, whereas videos, blog posts and Flickr albums were posted weekly, and we always kept the messaging and goals top of mind, which kept it consistent.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: content execution, content production, smitw2011 | No Comments »