Tag Archives: social media strategy


The Most Underused Social Media Platform

The Most Underused Social Media Platform

Reading about the upcoming 2014 content marketing trends from Crazy Egg’s blog, I was reminded how SlideShare is still underused by most social media marketers. It still surprising how often this fantastic tool gets overlooked.

Last year I spoke with PR Week’s Tanya Lewis about the use of SlideShare and PR. If you don’t know what Slideshare is, it is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. With 60 million monthly visitors and and 120 million page views it is one of the top 150 sites on the Internet. Who doesn’t need more views to their website or content?

My presentation from PRSA event in November. Since presenting, it has been viewed more than 450 times. That is beyond the 50 plus folks in the audience who say it. Boom. Now that's what I call increasing awareness.

My presentation from PRSA event in November. Since presenting, it has been viewed more than 450 times. That is beyond the 50 plus folks in the audience who say it. Boom. Now that’s what I call increasing awareness.

I am a huge proponent of SlideShare. For any marketer or public relations professional looking for ways to build their client expertise you shouldn’t look any further. Seriously. Who doesn’t have a Powerpoint to share? How many of you have client looking to you to create content? Here is a chance to repurpose and reuse good content.

Here is my personal example using SlideShare, back in November, I had the opportunity to present to a regional PRSA conference.

Now, when I presented there was about 50 plus folks in the room. Not bad right? But, when I posted my presentation to SlideShare a few things happen:

1) More exposure. Since posting to SlideShare, the presentation has been viewed more than 600 times. Not trending on SlideShare, but definitely worth the investment of increasing my reach by 9X.

2) Someone from the presentation also blogged about it. Bonus! He blogged on Vocus corporate blog and linked to the SlideShare posting. This was a key driver of viewers to my SlideShare presentation. Bonus: a reporter from my local market also covered the story too. Love it.

3) Increased credibility. Amazing when you can share your ideas and thoughts, folks seek you out for advice and expertise. Building expertise through showing your work. Huzzah, what every PR person wants for their client: ability to leverage their expertise and get noticed.

Final thought: You or your client already have some pretty decent presentation that are probably worth sharing. Why not give it a shot?


What Do You Need to Make Social Media Successful in Higher Ed?

As I put the final touches on my social media presentation next week, I started to think about why social media strategy is tough to implement in institutions of higher education. Higher education is not the only space where social media is a challenge, however, I think this market has to address both consumer (students) and business (internal stakeholders) to business (other departments, organizations) end of social. What causes challenges to institution wide adoption?

  • Social media proliferation is hard for any organization, but extremely challenging for higher ed teams to keep up due to resources (human and monetary). A given, but an important area to address why schools need to narrow down their focus when it comes to social. it is not about quantity, but quality. icon_higher_education
  • New channels coming out often (hello Vine, Snapchat).
  • Not asking the question of where your audience is. Or the other 9 questions before making the social media leap.
  • Knowing how to deal with crisis communications and social media important role.
  • The wrong people managing social media. Think about this in terms of strategy versus tactic.
  • No buy-in that social media is both a channel and a medium outside of the admissions office.
  • Social media is reviewed only when there is a problem.
  • Social media is not only about broadcasting your news, it is about engaging with prospective and current students, alumni, staff, and community.

So, how can you address the above?

  • Set goals up for social media
  • Buy-in from senior leaders both in your organization and outside
  • Listen before sending out any information. what are people sharing about your school now? How can you contribute to the conversation?
  • Have a social media response procedure in place to deal with negative comments or crisis situations
  • Enlist in folks both on staff and students to contribute to the conversation.
  • Make sure to train folks who will use social media on behalf of the school
  • Monitor your success and share those internally
  • Plan for engagement. What can your school do to interact?
  • Plan for content. What content will you share?

While the above is not exhaustive, it is a running list of things to help make social media adoption more successful. What would you add?



Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

Ten Questions You Should Ask Before Making the Social Media Leap

This week, Enrollment Management Report editor published her interview with me and Concordia University’s social media manager, Veronica Steele, on how to create successful social media strategies. Great read for folks looking for best practice on implementing social media across an organization.

I think it is important to note social media strategy can’t happen unless the organization is ready to be truly social.  This readiness or rather willingness for social media got me thinking about what questions you should ask before making the social leap.

If you want more people in your organization to start taking social media more seriously, start thinking about if your organization is truly ready for change. A couple of things to consider:

  • Are your stakeholders both internal and external using social media to connect and share information about you, your organization, or market trends in your industry?
  • Are you ready to listen?
  • Do you have resources both in terms of human capital and tools?
  • Who are you going to share with? Identify your audience.
  • Similar to audience, who is your ideal persona using social media that you want to engage with?
  • Are senior leaders accepting of social media?
  • Do your senior leaders use social media regularly?
  • Is human resources ready to deal with some of the unpleasant aspects of social media?
  • Besides your team or department, who else will participate?
  • Are you ready to prepare training and constant encouragement?

The above list could be lengthier, but the point is to think about social media more than a marketing or public relations function.  Social business has to be the whole company and everyone needs to be involved in the change. Ron Ashkenas wrote in the Harvard Business Review that one of the challenges of change management is strengthening managers’ ability to manage change. I like Ron’s article because similarly with change management, we have a tendencies to pass the social buck to someone else in our organization in hope that it will work. While you need someone to drive the proverbial social media bus, you do need other to contribute.

If we don’t make folks accountable the change will never occur no matter the amount of training or passion. This is why social businesses like Zappos are winning at the social media game. Zappos and others alike understood the organizational necessity for this type of change. It is either everyone is all-in in performing and creating social media programs or not. This type of buy-in has to occur from senior leaders to entry level employees. Social media change does  not happen by chance, but rather on purpose.

If you are thinking about where you are in the continuum, consider this excerpt from an HBR in 2007 about why organization change fails. I like the chart because it serves as a check list for social media strategist. As you move throw the stages of getting social to be acceptable think about where you are and where you like to be. I always think it is crazy when organization’s don’t have a plan in place. Would you create a website without a plan? Probably not.

Rachel Metscher Ten Questions Your Should Ask Before Making the Social Leap

Artwork from HBR article by John P. Kotter on Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail

Three Traits Social Media and Foreign Exchange Students Have in Common

Social media strategist and foreign exchange students have a lot in common surprisingly. Both speak and act differently than your usual run-of-the-mill communications or marketing professional.

The best part about working on social media projects is you get the chance to work with cool people both externally and internally. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet Liz Bullock, former Dell Social Media Director, to discuss all things social media.  Liz and I were chatting about some of the great and perhaps not so-awesome things that occur when you are moving your business from 1.0 to social.

It was great to speak with someone who, like me, had built a case for social media by stressing the importance of training and how it is key in adoption. Amen!  (If you haven’t heard me beat that drum loud and clear, training is vitally important to the business of social)

While these conversations were awesome, who doesn’t relish in the opportunity to commensurate. I expressed to Liz that I often feel like an anomaly; the only one who gets what social media is about. She laughed and said, “Not an anomaly, more like a foreign exchange student.” Intrigued, I asked her to explain. So here’s the gist of our conversation:

1)    Social media people speak another language. If tweets, shares, or retweets are in your vernacular, then you speak a foreign language. To be honest, social media strategists and their marketing counterparts could have done themselves a favor by speaking in business terms or outcomes right from the beginning.

Artwork originally found on www.herald-dispatch.com

Artwork originally found on http://www.herald-dispatch.com

Think about this in terms of explaining why a social program was successful to your manager or senior executive. It generally doesn’t work.

Solution: Don’t talk in terms of jargon, talk in business terms.  When I shared how we improved the customer experience by taking care of customer support issues via social media – that’s when executives started to listen. It wasn’t about the transactional metrics of “we have XX followers;” it was about mitigating risks and taking care of the customer. Taking care of your customers will equal in better relationships and ultimately more revenue opportunities.

2)   Not only do we speak a foreign language, but we also see the business world differently. Folks who truly understand the power of using social for business approach problems and invent solutions differently than most of their contemporaries. It is easy to understand why many companies run to the next shiny object (Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr) and create pages but grow disappointed when their expectations don’t match reality. Social media strategists understand that it is possible to build a social media nirvana, but it can’t be done without a plan.  Not planning is planning to fail- Hillary Clinton.

3)   People are nice, at first. Remember when you were in middle school or high school and you met the foreign exchange student? Everyone on the first day is so nice and accommodating. By week two, all those friendly faces forget that coming to the States is a hard transition and resort to calling their habits “strange.” When you introduce a new concept everyone is nice, but when it comes to implementation, the gloves are off. Change is hard folks, especially when it comes to changing your perception of what social is and how it can be applied to your day job.

Bonus: You’re different. Just like European tourists who rock fanny packs. It has been my experience that folks who work in social media tend to be the disruptive type. We question the status quo, we like to try new things, which is why we tend to adopt things earlier than everyone else.  The social role is changing, but it can only change for the better if you’re up to the challenge.

Seven #SocialMedia Tips in Less than Eight Clicks

Happy Tuesday. Thinking about sharing practical advice in social media, I decided to do a top list of articles from my past posting. One of the reasons I decided to start writing this blog was to share my past experiences and provide solid advice to folks looking for ways to use social media. I don’t believe it is difficult, I think it’s hard to change the norm and get people to try new things. I want to share advice without the hype and ra ra. We all know we should be doing more with social, but often don’t know how.

Seven Tips in Eight ClicksSo, here is my attempt to provide solid advice for the folks who are looking for real tactics. Practical tips for the pragmatic professional.

Happy reading.

Holy Grail of Gaining More Followers on Twitter

Part 1: 4 Things I Learned during My First Year of Implementing a Global Social Media Strategy

Part 2: Everyone else is an expert

Part 3: You Need an Executive Champion

Part 4:  Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch

When Tactics, Not Strategy Drives Your Social Media

Who is Driving Your Social Media Bus