These past weeks, I have been busy in the US, preparing for my next Latin American tour and for this week’s seminars with the Venture Leaders program at the Swiss Consulate in Boston.
Part of the Latin American tour in 2013 will be a combination seminar/workshop that we will propose in 15 countries, about social media and storytelling. When I did my leadership tours in 2011 and 2012, many attendees asked about buying the book “Email, social media marketing, and the art of storytelling”, and they wanted to know when I would come back to do a social media workshop.
Since Latin American audiences are so eager to learn about social media, the tour organizers and I devised the program below. I am posting it here for two reasons.
First, I spent a long time designing it, and I am pleased with the way it came out, so I hope you find it interesting reading. Of course, any suggestions for improving it are always welcome, so feel free to comment. Second, it occurs to me that people reading this blog in areas outside of Latin America might be interested in the topic as well. It would be good to hear from you if you have suggestions for organizing half-day or full-day events, either for a company or for the general public in your area.
So, here is the general description, written for a six-hour day, broken into four modules of 90 minutes each. Of course, the program can be adapted to meet other needs and formats.
Using social media and the tools of e-marketing to tell your brand story
In recent years, the Internet has changed some of the traditional rules and principles of branding.
In the age of broadcast media, we advertised on television and radio, and our brand was what we told people it was. Today, consumers use open electronic forums to express their opinions, and they often have a profound influence over brand’s destiny. Branding has become an interactive co-creation with a user community. In the internet world, a brand is what the community decides it is.
How can we best adapt to this new world of e-marketing, and in particular to the rapid emergence of social media? We must begin by accepting some loss of control over our brand, and by learning to embrace the Internet as an ally. By using the varied tools of e-marketing—social media, email, websites and blogs—intelligently, we can craft an authentic brand story and engage a wider community in promoting our products and spreading our messages.
The goal of this program is to learn to develop and tell our brand stories, using the tools of the Electronic Age. While the focus of this conference will be social media, we will touch on the other elements of a comprehensive e-marketing strategy: video, websites, blogs, and email.
Module 1:The changing world of social media and Internet marketing
Topics of this module include:
Viral marketing—how unknown products and people become known using social media
Loss of control of the brand message: why branding today is a co-creation with a wider community
The power of a “voice of one”: How individuals and brands use social media to tell their story to the world
The growing importance of building a brand community
Dangers of social media: responding to a crisis, and the importance of transparency
Module 2: Best practices in social media and e-marketing
In this module, we look at some in-depth of examples of companies that are using social media effectively to tell their brand story, and to build their brand community.
The companies we study include classic marketing companies with enormous budgets, such as Nike, Starbucks and IKEA, but also small companies with limited resources that do remarkable work on the social sites. The best of these small companies have succeeded in building active and passionate brand communities, even for everyday products such as pots and pans or bicycles. We will study their practices and show how any company can use them.
Module 3: An interactive session on telling your brand story and engaging your brand community.
In this module, we put into practice the concepts of Module 2.
We will work in groups, and also all together at times, on helping each other with ideas for telling our brand stories and engaging a wider brand community.
Storytelling: where to look for, and how to tell, stories of identity for a brand.
Building your brand community, using all the tools of social media and the Internet.
Engaging the brand community, and encouraging their active storytelling
Monitoring and listening: Listening to the community and identifying key users and “superfans”
Measuring return on investment in social media, or the values of a fan—today and in the future.
Module 4: “Marmite and the BNP” Case.
We end the day with an in-depth look at one company’s interesting experience in social media. Marmite is an iconic brand in the UK, a brand that has experienced enormous growth of its brand community, and also learned some of the dangers of using social media.
This case, written by the seminar leader, demonstrates some of the great advantages, and some of the potential issue to consider when using the Internet and social media marketing to build a brand.
The program will enable participants to
- Understand how the Internet changes the rules of branding
- Appreciate the power of storytelling in marketing
- Recognize the elements of an effective story for selling a brand or an organization
- Understand how organizations are expanding their brand communities with intelligent use of e-marketing and storytelling
- Learn to create meaningful interaction with the community of users
- Learn to leverage the power of social media and email to create conversations with users
- Understand that these uses of e-marketing and storytelling are accessible to any organization
- Recognize some dangers and pitfalls of social media marketing, and learn how to avoid them
Program outcomes and benefits
After attending this program, participants will be able to:
- Use social media and email to monitor the user community for information
- Identify passionate users and potential brand advocates
- Begin the process of constructing and telling authentic brand stories
- Use your company’s website to promote interaction with end users
- Build email and social media campaigns to increase brand awareness and expand the brand community
- Generate user content by encouraging clients to share their experiences