#Engage2013: The Highlights

[View the story “#Engage2013” on Storify]

Like Cycle, Jeremy Waite

Jeremy Waite from Adobe shows off his ‘Like-Cycle’

#Engage2013

This all-day event not only included top speakers from companies such as Twitter, Nestlé, KLM, SAB Miller, Adobe, it also promised to be a real learning experience for attendees. It did not disappoint.

Storified by · Wed, Apr 24 2013 09:16:14

Twitter is the shortest distance between you and what interests you #engage2013
This year there were many hot topics including the shift from desktop to mobile marketing, the power of local content marketing and social customer care, metrics that matter. Have a look through this Storify link to see the highlights and insights of the day.
You need to understand why your customers are behaving the way they do #Engage2013 pic.twitter.com/lC2Nz7oZ4yBAHIA
@socialbakers Twitter conversations are 4X effective as non-Twitter ads. Our gaming research from #engage2013 twitter.twimg.com/ukgamingQ213Bruce Daisley
What is a social brand? – Headstream’s 3 principles: Win-win relationships, Active listening, Appropriate behavior #engage2013
Be sure to check out helpful insights from our #Engage2013 speakers here: bit.ly/17UjYjB pic.twitter.com/Ug8VIZRiodSocialbakers
Social Personality Discovery. Are you an explorer, sage, humorist or creator? #Engage2013
What do Starbucks measure on social media? @jeremywaite from #engage2013 pic.twitter.com/VzoJVNNkJ8
Momentum Factor
Social media marketing = “turning your customers into advertising”, not “talking to customers in social channels” #engage2013
Mat Morrison
Paid Media, Owned Media and Earned Media

Paid Media, Owned Media and Earned Media

#Twitter is #PR medium rather than advertising medium. But boundaries between PR & Advertising are quite blur. @BruceDaisley #Engage2013
Social is the only area of business where you don’t need to outspend your competitors #Engage2013 #thebizlinks
Catherine Jones
Businesses open themselves to ‘Twitter Tax’ when opening accounts. It’s best feedback businesses can get. @AndrewGrill #engage2013
The #Engage2013 panel debating Earned, Paid, Owned Media. @jowyang’s report is a must-read: slideshare.net/Altimeter/the-… pic.twitter.com/o0BW7fqVSY
Paul Papadimitriou
My phone has more computing power than all of @NASA had in 1969. NASA sent man into space. I sent birds into pigs. #engage2013
“Social media needs to get out of the marketing suite” @andrewgrill (pictured right, @jangles on left) #engage2013 pic.twitter.com/hCCaqInKYc
Rachel Miller
Starbucks' Simple Social Strategy

Starbucks’ Simple Social Strategy

LIKE > “Social media is not a platform anymore, it’s integrated into our organisation” says @kundreu from @KLM #engage2013
Social media is a reflection of real life. Content needs to be timely relevant add value to conversation #engage2013
H-ART
.@papadimitriou, founder of Digital Intelligence: “Companies are social animals & are hardwired to be engaged” #Engage2013
Brands spend 3-5% of budget on social media. Most successful spend between 12-15% #Engage2013 @jeremywaite
Jay Perkins
Social ROI = Revenue gained – investment/investment x 100 @jeremywaite #engage2013
So glad that at #engage2013 we are starting to address the need to become a #socialbusiness and that demands real culture/org change
Andrew Grill
“Science is like sex: it has practical uses, but it’s not why we do it.” #Engage2013
SW4
The shelf life of a tweet is between 6-7 minutes @jeremywaite #engage2013
Leigh Gower
“Service is sales. Be cool to hang out with. Don’t push. Create stuff worth sharing.” Lionel Laselle #engage2013
Like-cycle by @jeremywaite at @AdobeSocial. #Engage2013 pic.twitter.com/pkZjffZbfL
Tim Grimes
66% of all brand engagement on Twitter is mobile. #Engage2013
This is why organisations should be more concerned about their engagement rate than number of likes: #engage2013 pic.twitter.com/h3MN1uCoSu
Lydia Bartlett
Positive tweets about a product/brand can influence purchase decision. It’s easy. #Engage2013
“@Shusmo: “50% of people use #SocialMedia to waste time” @JeremyWaite @Adobe @spcialbakers #Engage2013 @zainjo pic.twitter.com/KoUT2BQ2FG”
@iMarketMENA
RT @MomentumFactor: % of fans that may not see your content in 3 months time #engage2013 pic.twitter.com/xmyI2MpJLz
Impossible = I’m Possible. #engage2013
@SocialBakers Thanks for making me and @Adobe the most mentioned / cheered talk of the day. Was fun #Engage2013 pic.twitter.com/8NQiqBefrf
It was amazing day and a truly worthwhile experience. Many thanks to everyone who spoke and everyone I met.

Unlock your greatest asset: the ability to think

Thinking is good. In fact, thinking is ruddy good. People don’t do enough of it.

According to the Daily Mail (clearly taken with a pinch of salt), British people spend NINE HOURS a day staring at screens and spend more time online than any other nation in the world.

That works out to be 30 years of our lives. 30!

These screens include computers, mobiles, televisions and tablets. Not only this, but increasingly more people are watching television with a second screen.

Technology has transformed the way we do things. It makes processes quicker, it is always convenient, and it doesn’t answer back when asked a question – unless you have that pesky git, Siri.

Jobs, including mine, heavily depend on the use of screens, second screens and mobiles and it appears the rate of creativity is increasing, and innovation has never been so thriving.

After having a day’s workshop with the brilliant business coach Nicholas Bate, he simply said ‘think more’.

It’s crazy, right? We ‘think’ all day solving problems, replying to emails, having meetings, deciding what lunch to eat, etc.

With so many technologies available to us, all of which we can consume in a different way, we don’t have to think as much.

Bate claimed that walking regularly to think will help with problem solving, productivity and building a better mood to really excel.

Following his advice, I stopped catching the bus and walked to work instead.

It takes roughly 35 minutes and that’s a whole lot of thinking. I made the conscious decision not to get my phone out, not listen to music, but to simply think.

You know what? He’s right.

By thinking without distraction – par the ducks quacking along the river – I have managed to solve problems quicker, thought of ways to deal with difficult colleagues and customers, and came up with some really cool ideas.

At lunchtime, I head to the gym and treat myself to a listen of music, but stay well clear of screens.

Not only it’s been good for your heart and lungs, but it’s remarkably good for your brain, too.

So I urge you, and challenge you, to spend 15 minutes a day to ‘do nothing’. Get out of the office, walk to the shops, take a stroll around the block and think.

Leave all technology behind and when you come back, you will be better, refreshed, thoughtful and have put some of those problems into perspective.

Working in PR and community management, where there’s so much pressure for response times, replying to emails and calling clients, spending a few minutes to ‘do nothing’ will help more than you could ever imagine.

Not only I feel I’ve improved the standard of work, I come back refreshed and more assertive, with not only work but with building better employee relationships too.

Working long and hard causes the body to seek refuge in reptilian or fight/flight behaviour as its suspects the worst.

All well and good but our greatest asset is then lost: our human ability to think and make thoughtful, clear choices. Take regular, real (no technology) breaks and get fresh air.

Work smart and unlock your greatest asset: the ability to think.

Let me know how you get on, especially as we’re approaching the summer. Hopefully.

@StevenWoodgate

Sports Development – A Change of Perspective

GUEST POST: To add more context, and highlight the changes of the sports industry as a whole, Sport Researcher Stuart Owen has kindly offered his opinion on the current trends of sports development and how that has be impeded by the media and technology. This is the first and quite a personal one, so visit back for Stuart’s expert look into the sport development industry and the changing mindset. Enjoy.

 
Stuart Owen: A vision into sports development

Stuart Owen: A vision into sports development

Sometimes it can get boring reading constant news stories, press releases, and articles about the importance of physical activity and trying to get more of us participating in sport. At times it can be easy to lose perspective on why we should be doing it.

As someone who has loved competing in various sports and is keen to get others to do the same, I often find myself questioning the value of sport and why I want to get other individuals more active.  This has led me to believe that before I can put enthusiasm behind why others should participate, I need to first question what got me interested and passionate about trying to maintain a physically active lifestyle.

In a quest to understand my underlying urge to better myself and compete in a sports environment at a recreational level I have to take myself back to my childhood. Obviously, before I go any further, it is my clear understanding that biomechanics and genetics play a huge role in determining people’s ability and innate competitive drive. I have no doubt that I have a competitive edge within me which has driven me to prove myself against others and ultimately attempt to come out on top.

Sport, in this sense, has provided me with the perfect proving ground. An in-depth discussion about the value of genetics and sport is best left to a Sports Scientist, but in my opinion, it is necessary to always respect the significance genetics play. Looking beyond this though, I had a realisation about what sport really offered me as a child – respect and admiration from others.

I wouldn’t say that I was ever the most confident individual at school; I would be the quiet one who would just get their head down and get on with their work, dare I say it, I guess it was classed as a ‘geek’. This was fantastic in that I academically achieved everything that I wanted to at school, but when it came to being respected by my fellow peers, well that was more difficult. It soon became clear that regardless of what I did I would always have the labels of ‘geek’ or ‘goody-goody’ hanging over my head. That is where sport came in.

I genuinely still remember being fearful of joining the school football club because of the individuals who took part in it; nonetheless, I built up the courage to go along. Once I was out on that pitch I was in my comfort zone, able to prove what I was capable of. This in turn allowed me to gain a little respect from my peers. I’m not saying I lost all my labels and that suddenly I was strutting around school being known as the next Beckham, but now I had the label of ‘geek who is also good at sport’ above my head. Fantastic. Sport empowered me as a child and by simply doing something I enjoyed I also gained more confidence and respect as an individual.

This is exactly where Sports Development policies are going wrong at the moment.

It is so easy to look around and see various initiatives informing us on how we can get involved in sport, where we need to go for this, and the general benefits it will have on our health and wellbeing. Nonetheless, it is lacking that personable element.

We are almost in a state of saturation where we have heard the facts and stats about obesity, that we are now overlooking them because we are bored of hearing about them. We need to re-think how we can engage with individuals, of which a large majority will be children. I believe that we need to move away from focusing, although still value the importance of, the health benefits of sport, and look more at the character building and empowerment aspect that physical activity can offer.

Now I’m not saying that this perspective will work for every individual, but then I’m not a believer that one size fits all. To get more people participating you need to come up with several different initiatives/techniques and if just 1 out of 10 of those appeals to an individual and makes them connect with the idea of what sport can offer them, then that’s just great. After all that is the main perspective of Sport Development-to engage individuals to participate in sport.

Now, I’m not going to list ideas of what initiatives can be created to help individuals understand the empowerment element of sport, but I sure intend on doing this as my career hopefully advances within the Sports Development industry.

One thing I am sure about is that awareness is the key, and in this modern day, social media is the best and most effective way of engaging with young people. Let us make people aware of what sport can do for them instead of just bombarding them with information on what they should be doing.

Sportandev.org (https://twitter.com/sportanddev) are a prime example of an organisation that acts as a platform to communicate the good that sport can do; it goes much further than simply listing the health benefits. On a daily basis I read, via their twitter feed, the good that sport is doing in teaching children about AIDS prevention in Africa, just as one example. This is just one such illustration of the good and empowerment that Sports Development can offer. It’s time to look beyond purely the health benefits.

As a final note, I don’t want people thinking that I only believe people can be empowered through sport; by no means do I believe this. Sport is just one form of enablement, a form that I found helped me, but people may find that enablement through art, music, drama etc. Putting my sport mind to one side, it is of greater importance to me that individuals are able to empower and find themselves through any form of activity, but for now my mission is to help those who wish to achieve that through sport.

Stuart Owen studied Sports Development and Coach Education at the University of Bath, and is currently working as a Sports Researcher at the Leisure Database Company.

Conclusion: Sport Communicators need to address Social Media abuse – Part 7

We are now on the seventh and last part of the research into sportstars’ use of social media and issues surrounding reputation management. The response received surpassed all expectations. Thank you to everyone who’s stayed loyal and read all seven parts. If you’ve missed one – or a few – they are attached at the bottom. Hopefully you’ll keep sharing and spread the word..
 
Otherwise, I will need to rely on a sports club to bid seven figures for me/the blog. 
Many thanks,
@StevenWoodgate

Conclusion

This seven-part series has considered whether sport PR needs the introduction of a bigger and a more detailed social media policy to prevent reputation damage and conflict arising between the individual and the organisation they represent.

The hypothesis set out for the research sought to prove how  ‘Social Media policies in sports organisations need to address abuse by individuals to avoid negative effects on corporate reputation and control corporate image’. PR theory was considered to understand the demands of corporate reputation and how they are affected by the use of social media, and found wanting when it came to understanding the unique relationship between sportspeople and their organisations, as well as between clubs and their fans.

Secondary research laid the foundation to illustrate what kinds of stories are published via social media. Content analysis revealed the extent and nature of the problem, with three different categories of twitter traffic identified – tweeters, who help a corporate reputation, twits who are relatively harmless but not helpful and twats, who can be positively destructive.

The content analysis conducted on eleven sportspeople demonstrated, overwhelmingly, that inappropriate social media use is common throughout sport. That is not to say this use is always a negative, rather it includes missing opportunities to enhance the corporate reputation of one’s team. Footballers are the obvious target considering their global impact, but it is up to their corporate communicators to set policy and lead by example. Football already has a somewhat tarnished reputation and the fact it does not apply social media guidelines to common practice inevitably makes reputation management even more difficult.

The coexistence of social media and the traditional mass media will not be as easy to achieve in the arena of sports, as it might be in many corporate environments. Sportspeople have to be careful and review their own use of social media reconsidering the use of communications experts to guide them.

After all, a sportsperson is not a communication professional, and some help will be required to understand the risk to reputation.  Self-regulation or self-censorship by sportspeople of their use of social media is an acquired skill, and needs corporate guidance. Quite simply, sportspeople need to be shown what ‘good’ looks like.

In a world where sport is increasingly commercial, global and driven by business principles, risk and reputation management may well prove to be the driving force behind a new approach to social media. The desired integration and alignment within companies of sportspeople and management require that a reputation must be built both ‘inside out’ and ‘outside in’.

Corporate Communicators may well be the initiator and driver of implementing a social media reputation approach, building a leading coalition with sportspeople and management. Bringing valuable insights on stakeholder opinion and potential risks to reputation to the boardroom and to the sportspeople’s minds, corporate reputation should be given the attention it deserves and earn corporate communicators a standing invitation to overall reputation strategy discussions. Introducing a social media policy should be the first big step in addressing online reputation management.

Corporate communicators should therefore be prepared to take the next steps. This research believes that the below list of recommendations are essential in making the best use of social media:

–       Introduce the purpose of social media

–       Be responsible for what you write

–       Be authentic

–       Consider your audience

–       Exercise good judgment

–       Understand the concept of community

–       Remember to protect confidential information

–       Bring value

–       Productivity matters

–       Prepare to face consequences and possibly expulsion

Further research needed to confirm the findings and draw greater validity and authority should include the following:

–       Widen the analysis by looking at the explicit relationship between corporate reputation and twitter traffic over a much longer period, across a broader range of sportspeople, and involving more than just the UK,

–       Deepen the research, by applying the above framework to one specific club in which several different sports people are tweeting, to quantify the actual impact on corporate reputation of tweets, twits and twats.

–       Break down the elements of corporate reputation and the role of power that resides with investors, rather than fans, and see whether social media has any impact

As this research and blog posts have proven, doing nothing about the use of social media is no longer an option.  Corporate communicators and senior managers need to act now before more of its sportspeople become ‘Twats’ and before it has significant effect on corporate reputation.

Please read and share the others in this series: 
Sport and corporate reputation is a tough mix: Part 1
Corporate communicators need to control their employees: Part 2
Sportstars do not understand corporate reputation: Part 3
Why do fans follow sportstars on social media: Part 4
The Social Media battle between Corporate Communicators, Journalists & Sportstars: Part 5
Discussion and Analysis: A better Social Media policy is needed in Sport: Part 6
 
 Hope to hear from you soon – @StevenWoodgate

10 Steps to Leadership Success

Leadership can be a tough ask. Here are some tips that should help you manage your business more successfully.

1.      Communicate openly and often – Set the tone as people need to know what is expected of them. Give a sense of optimism, and ensure communication is a two-way process. Communication flow is key, supply by giving enthusiastic examples.

2.      Be a team, not a collection of individuals – You are only as good as the people you work with, don’t produce a ‘winners’ culture but provide balanced teams, whether that is with clients, customers or internally.

3.      Match people’s talents to their role – Work should be challenging, interesting and fun, otherwise employees would become bored and dissatisfied. Understand their strengths, and motivate by allocating tasks, clients and challenges to will suit them.

4.      Guide, don’t direct – Give people autonomy and responsibility. Trust them. Speak of vision and desire. Let others learn by experience, and provide opportunity to develop skills. Don’t take them for granted.

5.      Recognise and reward good performance – Praising people generates enthusiasm and builds loyalty, both between work-relationships and client-relationships. However, it’s important to provide coaching for those who needs to improve.

6.      Make your meetings upbeat and inspirational – Speak openly and communicate well. Set and agree clear goals and energise people to hold onto your business visions and values. Stay flexible and respond to any opportunities that may arise.

7.      Find ways to say yes – It’s easy to say no. Even the wildest ideas will get resentment, so say ‘why not’ and explore the idea first.

8.      Learn from any mistakes – It’s impossible for businesses to get everything right all the time. Mistakes are evitable, but treat them as learning opportunities. Don’t be afraid to take risks, as smart mistakes will provide the experience to achieve something worthwhile.

9.      Trust your instincts and believe in yourself – Dealing with ambiguity and stress can be emotionally draining. Stay focused, and trust your judgement. There will be tough times, but it’s how you react to those is the key in progression.

10.   Manage your time – Don’t confuse activity with progress. We spend a lot of time being busy. Make what you do count.

 

The Social Media battle between Corporate Communicators, Journalists & Sportstars

The fifth part of this series looking at sportstars, social media and issues surrounding reputation management comes from qualitative interviews with those in the industry. The other four parts can be found at the bottom of this post.

Interviews

To understand and investigate the data extracted from the questionnaires further (Corporate communicators, Sports Stars and Sports Fans), a series of interviews were undertaken from a broad spectrum of the industry. Not only professional and semi-professional sportspeople were interviewed but those within industry ranging from journalists, corporate communicators and PR professionals.

This was an important step to add context to the current data and provide a qualitative angle to progress and investigate further.  Do experts concur that the conflicts between sportspeople and their organisations over social media need to be controlled through a management policy?

This blogger was able to obtain interviews with six in-house sporting corporate communicators, including: Trevor Braitwait, Director of Communications at Sheffield Wednesday FC; Simon Williams, Communications Officer at Southampton FC; Max Fitzgerald, Communications Executive at AFC Bournemouth; Mike McGreary, Website Manager at Middlesbrough FC; Ian Cotton, Ex-Director of Communications at Liverpool and Tom Tainton, Media Officer at Bristol Rugby. Each quote has been disguised to keep views confidential.

From the interviews undertaken, there was a resounding difference between the thought of reputation and social media, and the constant battle between the individual and the organisation.

“Protecting and promoting our brand is a key part of my role. There is no specific strategy as this unfolds on an ongoing basis.” 

Worryingly, and quite unnaturally, senior management at sports clubs has made the conscious effort not to introduce a strategic strategy to deal with reputation. Across other business sectors, plans are put into place but this shows the immaturity of the sports communication industry. The younger professionals coming into the industry sees their roles slightly differently:

“Reputation management is a critical element of my role – we try to boost our reputation and ‘culture’ created by the boss and the coaching staff through positive reinforcement on our social media channels.”

This shows the willingness and eagerness to use social media more actively within the whole communication and PR strategy. As it shows in the corporate communication questionnaire, younger people are using social media to get their messages across and they are more aware of the importance of it.

“This (Using players’ social media account to boost reputation) can backfire, as two high profile football clubs recently discovered to their cost… The reputation of the club is and always will be greater than that of any individual.”

This shows two things: a clear age gap in thinking about social media, and potential differences between team sports. Some policy is for the players to express themselves and rely more on media curation to measure and keep an eye on any bad publicity.

I think it’s important that players are given the chance to show their character on these platforms. It can however, be useful when promoting club offers due to their wider reaching fanbase.”

Again, it appears from these interviews that the younger corporate communicators are keener to use individual social media accounts to promote engagement and building and maintaining reputation.

“Every player receives social media training as well, as well as guidelines for social media use. We highlight the risks that social media can carry, particularly within the framework of media and public responsibility. Players directly represent the club and, as a result, are expected to portray themselves and their teammates in a positive manner at all times.”

Younger communicators also know the consequences and potential “pitfalls” of social media and have quickly asserted his influence to give the club a shining light for the players to use.

“By showing a personable side to the Club and creating open access to our players, we hope that supporters have a positive view of *club* and thus will be encouraged to invest time and money into our product.”

Despite the apparent differences across the three interviews, all agree that an in-depth social media policy would help to clarify current “grey areas”. Some know that they “are speaking to the media every time they tweet” and this view, from a media relations point, will help to identify potential areas for a reputation hit. Sport is highly speculative and the media can use these ‘posts’ as content to attract headlines and unnecessary, avoidable issues.

Not only it is imperative to understand the in-house corporate communicators view, it is also imperative to understand how these stories are sourced and used. After consulting journalists ranging from online, print and radio, further understanding can be taken to influence policy.

Older journalists are still adapting to sportspeople using things like social media with many believing the journalism industry is becoming more of a ‘Soap Opera’ rather than its primary objective to deliver high quality news content. One senior journalist sees social media and publicity in a different light.

“An agent’s sole raison d’etre is to get publicity for their clients in order to raise their profile and subsequently their earnings. It’s a murky and cynical business and cricketer’s, once largely removed from it, have smelt the money and are moving centre stage. “

The nation’s appetite for celebrity culture and speculative stories are ever increasing, and this senior journalist sees social media as a publicity tool for sportspeople to attract more attention. In this example, cricketers are becoming centre stage and the likes of Kevin Pietersen are becoming household names.

Their social media accounts are heavily watched in case a potential story appears. This seems to be a case of trying to build and maintain of the individuals as opposed to other collaborating with the individual’s organisations. These players are building context to market themselves and the speculation stories being produced

Interviews with sportspeople

Sportspeople sometimes create their downfall. Speculation and stories are a react to ill-informed tweets, used by those that do not appear to be educated on the consequences and understanding of social media. The data gathered from the questionnaires show clear indication that more guidance is needed to prevent future inappropriate use. As questions arose about their inappropriate social media use, many were unaware that those images and posts were made public, even when talking directly to someone.

This is an education corporate communicators need to have with their employees to prevent avoidable reputation damage. After interviewing eight sportspeople about their use of social media, many interesting points came across. As Figure 1 will show, many sportspeople enjoy using social media as fan engagement and ‘banter’ with fellow professionals.

More needs to be done to boost understanding and the consequences from using social media inappropriately as sportspeople do not understand the extent of social media and its potential impact.

Through clear guidelines and with the help of a communication specialist, their education about how to use social media could be significantly improved. To show this understanding, a focus group took place to understand how online journalists see social media use and what they think of it.

Selected Quotes

‘Well, to be honest, Social Media is there for banter purposes. Me and the lads often joke about it and use it to wind each other up. I often keep in touch with friends and that on it but the sole purpose of it is to joke about.’

‘They shouldn’t be bothered. It is not theirs to use. It’s mine and I wish to use it the way I wish.’

‘The social media account is mine and I can use it as freely as possible.’

‘I was drunk at the time and hugely regret it. My family sees what I put and I wasn’t proud. It was embarrassing. The lads at the club took the piss even the management got involved.‘

‘I was annoyed that I was left out and vented my frustration. It was silly but I felt like I wasn’t treated as well as I could have been and posted it just out of anger. Obviously the manager, and some of the fans, saw it and it ended up me having to make a public apology.’

‘I was annoyed that I was left out and vented my frustration. It was silly but I felt like I wasn’t treated as well as I could have been and posted it just out of anger. Obviously the manager, and some of the fans, saw it and it ended up me having to make a public apology.’

Figure 1: Selected quotes from Sportspeople Interviews

Focus group with online journalists and corporate communicators

Projecting reputation is hugely important in sport. Sport is speculative and can easily be attacked by the media who are looking for ‘easy’ stories. As mentioned before in the sportspeople questionnaire, the players seem indifferent to those journalists using their posts as stories, but their understanding of corporate reputation need to be improved.

Online journalists, Nick Howson and Vanessa Keller, who work exclusively in news gathering and content creation, know the true value of the usefulness of social media and in the interviews for this dissertation, they believe it “breaking down barriers” that were previously there.

Not only is it making their jobs easier, but also they believe they are getting more truthful responses rather than the “spin” they receive when trying to obtain quotes through their agents.

Not is social media clearly changing how journalism is practiced, but it shows the potential pitfalls that corporate communicators need to correct to ensure the barriers between the organisation and its consumers stays together.

“Traffic-wise, social media is great at getting more hits and impressions on our page. It’s an original source not the spin that clubs try to put out. In ways, it is even better than a press conference, as players are always under the watchful eye, they used social media more carefree and aren’t restricted in what they say.”

“There is becoming less need for PR, social media is becoming the number one source for journalists to go to.”

These were just some of main finding resulting from the focus group. Journalists are actively using social media as the main source for potential stories and speculation. It needs urgent addressing by clubs’ communications department, as this is a way where important can be leaked to the public. A clear social media policy outlining the consequences of such actions would provide a base a better place to prevent sportspeople people ‘twats’.

Even more so, the LinkedIn discussion with corporate communicators discovered that introducing social media policy can be rather tricky regardless of its usefulness.

Corporate Communicators Focus Group Highlights

“I suspect the nuance between rules and guidance is probably crucial. However, there can’t be a one size fits all solution. A Premier League football club is very different from the Met Police, disability charity or a small funeral company…

“Many organisations just don’t know what to do about social media. They put policies in place that are a bit of a sop but what else can they do?”

The problem with social media is that once it’s in the public domain there’s little you can do to get it back. Staff are entitled to have a private life but if they post their misdemeanour’s on a social platform it’s no longer private. It’s up to the employer what they do about this but the dilemma is that they don’t own the employee.”

“As a freelance press officer working in different organisations’ press offices I agree that some Press Offices don’t see social media as their responsibility…. But equally a lot do! Monitoring it is the challenge!”

Figure 2: Selected quotes from Corporate Communicators’ Focus Group

From the primary data gathered, the case studies need be sorted out to determine who are the ‘tweeters’, ‘twits’ or ‘twats’ (Next post) – and how social media policy should be framed to handle each in a way that enhances corporate reputation.

Please read and share the others in this series: 
Sport and corporate reputation is a tough mix: Part 1
Corporate communicators need to control their employees: Part 2
Sportstars do not understand corporate reputation: Part 3
Why do fans follow sportstars on social media: Part 4
 
Thanks for reading, Steve – @StevenWoodgate

How to become an Online Influencer

Being an online influencer is not usually the goal of anyone, not initially in the early stage of a career, but in this modern, social media-heavy world, becoming an influencer, or indeed, popular on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn is becoming ever so more important.

There is much thrown around online about how to approach and attract influencers, and how to become an influencer. When achieving such status, it’s important to been seen an industry equal and a resource. Then, when achieved, you would no longer be seen as a nuisance constantly broadcasting your own agenda and business, but hoping others will relay your messages.

However, those who want to be an online influencer, will have to understand that it won’t happen overnight, the truth is that it doesn’t happen easily. It takes hard work. The difference between the people who make it and those who don’t, is dedication and wisely targeted efforts.

Being an influencer yourself is often overlooked as a way to engage with other influences. As mentioned, it takes time. But it is worth it. There is also financial benefit to becoming an influencer, as people with increased value can charge more for services. It’s ultimately a win-win if you, and your business, have the dedication.

You can become a source of knowledge, a trend-setter, and valuable to your peers. You don’t have to settle for the role of squeaky agenda-pushing wheel.

Building strong relationships and trust with your peers is essential in influencing their decisions. Also having a centric attitude towards those that you work with can be as beneficial.

It is vital to listen more and talk less. Don’t talk yourself out of a ‘sales’. By listening to peers, managers, those in the industry, you can create a better formula to make recommendations that will have a larger impact on both of personal perception and of your goals.

Being aware when your peers are struggling, and the need help is the perfect opportunity to offer help. Offering assistance on a fairly consistent basis will show you are invested in making your industry a success, you are not simply looking to pull ahead of the pack.

To challenge yourself too, make sure you work outside your comfort zone. Create something new and try it. Become a leader, and providing adaptability and quick problem solving skills will increase perception that you are an innovator.

Plus, and this blog can’t stress this enough, suggest collaboration. Putting a collective head together to create ideas and new ways of working with help open brainstorming with you at the lead. You will end up of having better vision, and who the other influencers are, too.