Archive | January, 2012

What is Socially Acceptable? A Few Pointers on Conducting a Social Media Audit

16 Jan

It is extremely important in today’s world to understand what your social media is saying about you; how it is representing your organisation or client. If there is not already an efficient monitoring system in place it is a good idea to start using one and to begin by conducting a social media audit. I have had the experience of undertaking an offline branding audit whilst on work experience  a few years ago, this involved searching for inconsistencies in the brand logo internally and around the local area. The logo was being updated, so it was vital to make sure no older versions of the logo were still around, this process was done manually and took a long time to complete although was essential in order to achieve successful branding. However an online presence can be helped with the use of online tools and certain specialist companies who can help make the process quick and [almost] painless.

I have compiled a brief list of things I would start with when conducting a social media audit:

1. Gather all the login information and a list of all sites where you are currently online.

2. Make sure the name of your company is reserved on sites such as Twitter and your domain name (Whois Look Up provide a useful service for this).

3. Make sure all the profile information on each site is complete and up-to-date.

4. Ensure the landing page on each site is the one that is most relevant for your client or organisation.

5. Look at the graphics and style of the sites and certify they are consistent and giving the intended message to consumers.

6. Look at the timings of any content updates made and make sure the content is relevant and posted regularly or as much as is needed to engage the ‘audience’.

7. Measure the success of the site using online or social media monitoring tools such as Google Analytics or Sysomos.

These are all steps that will allow a PR practitioner to gain an overview to any clients online presence and understand what it is that needs (if anything) improving. To get ideas and ensure improvements to social media are made there are a few things that can be done:

What is your social media saying?1. Investigate competitors – look at what they’re doing to make their social media interactive and useful for consumers, make sure the organisation’s/client’s online presence matches the standard and hopefully goes beyond it.

2. Scheduling and planning – look at any big promotions coming up in the next few months and plan online content to support this, it is good to make online and offline communications coherent. Creating a calendar where posts or updates on sites can be planned for a certain date will lighten the workload and the pressure of coming up with content immediately. Tools such as Conversocial can help in the planning process, this tool allows you to schedule an update for a specific time and posts it automatically so you don’t have to do it manually at an inconvenient time.

3. Include more people in the planning process – share the plans with other members of the team or the whole organisation this can be done by setting up a simple Google doc and inviting the relevant people to see planned site updates (this is a good way of keep a client closely involved with the process too). Gain new inspiration by encouraging people to share any new sites they think would be beneficial to appear on, and holding brainstorming sessions to gather fresh content ideas when creativity is running dry.

I hope all these pointers help to illustrate the type of thing that needs to be done when conducting a social media audit. I have come across a few other tools of which appear to be useful for auditing: Woorank, Backtype and Trendrr, please let me know any other good ones you find!

 

Infographics Take Two: The Content of a PR Brief

16 Jan

After my first attempt at creating an infographic I knew it needed practise so here is my second attempt using a couple of different tools when presenting information on what content needs to go into a PR brief. I used the Wordle tool to illustrate all the basic elements within a brief and to highlight their importance with the most commonly used words/phrases becoming enlarged within the image. I think this is a good way to show information on a basic level, however when it comes to giving more detail there is some limitations in terms of explanation within the image. I think Wordle infographics often need to be supported by a written explanation and so are not the most creative way to present information:

The next tool I used was from Gliffy which offers several different formatted templates to choose from when creating your infographic. I chose to use a flow chart/ organisation format as I thought it would illustrate the stages of planning a PR brief clearly. It made it easier to segment the areas within a brief and show the overall plan clearly. I used subheadings and contained bullet points to make the image more detailed and easily understandable. I thought Gliffy offered more detail within it’s infographic options in comparison to Wordle, however it still didn’t look very impressive or creative:

Both of these tools offer the basics for infographics but I am looking forward to being able to use visual.ly as it looks to have a lot more interesting capabilities that give flexibility and creative advantage to the user.