SCOUT Corporate Blogging Services' Blog

The SCOUT Corporate Blog is a resource for company executives looking to understand how blogs and other forms of social media can support business goals including lead generation, thought leadership and top search engine rankings.


Social Media Engagement Correlates To financial Performance

The results are in and social media is a winner.  Social media has been heartily embraced by most of the world, and a new study from Engagementdb shows that when companies use social media and use it well, they are almost certain to reap quantifiable financial rewards.

This truly groundbreaking social media study written by Charlene Li and Wetpaint, uses a robust statistical analysis to measure how Business Week's top 100 brands are using social media to achieve financial success. The study’s goals were to measure “how deeply engaged the top 100 global brands are in a variety of social media channels and, more importantly, understand if higher engagement is correlated with financial performance”.

Each of the 100 brands was graded based on their social media engagement (how many social media channels they were engaged in and how deeply they were engaged).  The report states that “While no one yet has the data to determine direct cause and effect, what we do find is a financial correlation between those who are deeply engaged and those who outperform their peers.  Those who are most engaged have “sustained strong revenue and margin growth in spite of the current economy.”  The report ascribes this to “social media engagement promoting a customer-oriented mindset…which allows a company to identify and meet customer needs in the marketplace, generating superior profits.”

Successful social media strategies engaged by four companies profiled in the report include:  Blogging, Facebook pages, twitter, YouTube channels, discussion forums, wikis, and others.  Best social media practices included:  engaging with a company (like Backbone Media) to help formulate your strategy, allowing employees time to fulfill their blogging or tweeting obligations, getting buy-in from top management while having an internal social media champion, and cross channel engagement.

The report emphasizes that quality of social media engagement is critical to success.  For example, blog content should be regularly updated, comments should receive responses, and networking needs to be ongoing.  The authors state that “doing it all may not be for you — but you must do something” so you don’t fall behind your competitors.  Finally, it is better to identify a few channels that you can truly be engaged in rather than spreading yourself all over the place and not being as active as your audience expects you to be.

The top 10 companies for using social media strategies to their financial benefit are:

Starbucks, Dell, eBay, Google, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, Nike, Amazon, SAP, and a tie for tenth between Yahoo! and Intel.

Filed under: Social Media

Posted by Stephen Turcotte on July 20, 2009 3:39 PM
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When Mixing Business with Twitter and Facebook Remember What Mom Always Says

Remember how your mom always said, 'if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all'? James Andrews, an executive vice president from Ketchum PR is wishing he heeded those words while twittering about his recent trip to Memphis. The story is titled How Not to be a Key Online Influencer, is covered responsibly by David Henderson on his blog. I think that this story is destined to be a cautionary tale that social media communications experts are sure to be adding into their Power Point presentations right after the slide titled "Kryptonite Blogging Fiasco".

To summerize... Andrews flew to Memphis to visit FedEx, one of his agency’s biggest clients. On his arrival in Memphis he published a tweet (a short post on Twitter.com) that said "True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say, ‘I would die if I had to live here.”.  The tweet was quickly discovered by someone at Fedex that was 'following' Andrews on Twitter and resulted in a scathing written admonishment from the FedEx Corporate Communications team and I'm sure very cloudy home coming at Ketchum in Atlanta. Wanna get away? BTW in Twitter a Follower is like a Friend on Facebook. A Follower can see the tweets of the other people they are following.

In a world of sugar coated PR and glossy lofty corporate sentiments, I always find it refreshing when someone can eloquently speak their mind while being critical but not come off looking like a kermudgen. The masters can walk away with thought leadership and respect and possibly a few enemies. This is a very important skill for food or movie critics and bloggers alike. Many would say that open / casual discussion is what makes social media so important and popular. While a good zinger among friends and controversy keeps things interesting, and a good restaurant or product review is helpful to the consumer, when it's done on a social media setting like Twitter or Facebook it can be a very risky practice. There's a fine line between being critical or just poking fun and being insulting and dumb.

Now, I will admit to sympathizing with Andrews. In my own experience with blogging and Facebook i have found that these publishing tools can lull me, a multitasking type -- into a false sense of obscurity. Just like people mis speak, I can mis-tweet or mis-facebook, or mis-blog comment. Sometimes it's a typo because the text is so small. Sometimes I publish before I'm finished out of disgust, or publishing late at night after a glass of wine.

The Ketchum fiasco is not the first case of professional stupidity on the internet and it will not be the last. Social Media publishing tools offer otherwise responsible professionals and companies the noose in which to hang our selves. Does it mean we should not embrace them or close off our companies to social media all together? No, of course not. It simply means that companies now and in the future need to get serious about making social media best practices part of their business rather than an obscure interest managed by one or two folks or 'the agency'. Also,  companies need to put social media education right up there with the other major topics in the employee handbook.

Notes: Thanks to Debbie Weil for bringing this story to my attention via Facebook.

[Added January 26, 2009 at 12:43 PM:] Scout Blogging / Backbone Media produced Corporate Guidelines for Using Blogs and Forums a few years ago but I believe that they are still pertinent  today.

 

Tags: facebook, Fedex, Ketchum, Memphis, PR, twitter
Filed under: Blogging Tips

Posted by Stephen Turcotte on January 22, 2009 3:01 PM
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Scout Launches Just Venting, New Corporate Blog for Goodway Technologies

just-venting-banner.jpg

Scout and parent company Backbone Media, recently launched Just Venting, our newest client blogging strategy for Goodway Technologies. Goodway is a manufacturer of a wide range of high quality, industrial strength cleaning systems. We named it Just Venting because its content is targeted toward HVAC professionals, building engineers, and facilities managers. These are the folks that make sure your office building, hospital, school or university is clean, not falling apart and being efficiently (cost effectively) heated and cooled.

The businss goal of the blog is introduce new qualified prospects to the Goodway brand by providing useful topical information. As you will see by looking at the blog's welcome post, and post categories such as Green Buildings & Green Technology and Sick Building Syndrome, our strategy is designed to attract the facilities manager audience by publishing an ongoing series of high quality informative, optimized posts on a strategic set of topics. It's no accident that these 'topics' usually correspond with popular industry keywords.

Check out the site and let us know what you think.

 

Filed under: Blogging Strategy, Blogs Developed By Scout

Posted by Stephen Turcotte on December 5, 2008 5:02 PM
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PRSA to hold Digital Impact Summit in New York

It’s happening. The mainstream PR profession is really getting serious about how to achieve client goals by combining PR with social media, AND search engine optimization best practices. The latest proof of this is The Digital Impact Conference hosted by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Cision and Medialink. I’m proud to announce that I will be speaking at this important two day conference designed to help PR and Marketing professionals understand how to align their business strategies with emerging technologies.

 My session is titled “How a Little SEO Can Go a Long Way or the Wrong Way”. If the clever title isn’t enough for you to start reserving your tickets and packing your bags, here’s a quick teaser about my session.

Title: How a little SEO Can Go a Long Way or the Wrong way

Session Summary: For some companies, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be the difference between success and failure. In this session you will learn how an established computer company’s lack of SEO savvy reduced the impact of an otherwise good marketing and PR effort. You will also learn how SEO and strategic blogging catapulted a little Internet startup to success, achieving top search engine rankings along with blog buzz and national media coverage. Come see why PR professionals are uniquely suited to tap into some of that Search Engine Marketing budget, and learn how to better your business by avoiding the top ten things companies do to kill their natural search engine rankings.

Digital_Impact_Conf_234x60.JPGThis session is on Monday June 9 (Day One) and it will follow Lee Odden’s general session about SEO where he will discuss strategic approaches to getting in the news and how SEO affects social media. The keynote speakers are Josh Bernoff, principal analyst at Forrester Research and David Carr, columnist, Monday Business section, New York Times. The conference is packed with great sessions and speakers so check out prsa.org info page for the latest info and how to reserve your spot.

Last but not least, I want to sincerely thank Bryan Person, one of the most selfless bloggers on the internet for nudging the folks at PRSA to offer me this slot. Thanks Bryan! See you all in the big city.

Tags: conference, digital impact, new york, ny, PRSA, public relations society of America, search engine optimization, seo, social media, speaking
Filed under: PR Tips

Posted by Stephen Turcotte on April 17, 2008 4:39 PM
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Scout Blogging and SEO Client Destined for Mega-Millions According to Donny Deutch

We have reason to celebrate here at Scout this month. One of our clients, Internet startup denim retailer TrueJeans, is getting some mass media recognition for its concept along with its search engine marketing results. Just over a year ago, the folks at TrueJeans hired us to help promote their website and brand with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing Pay-Per Click Campaigns (PPC), and blogging strategy. Over the past year we've been able to achieve some great results by following Backbone's philosophy that the three keys to search engine marketing success are indexability, relevancy and links. For TrueJeans, we optimized their existing website's content and introduced a blog to initiate continually updated, relevant content, and to encourage community awareness, discussion and links from other sites.
 
What prompted this entry in the first place is that TrueJeans has made an appearance on CNBC's popular financial segment "The Big Idea" with Donny Deutsch! Their 'Minute to Millions' interview can be seen below in the video segment included in this post.

For anyone unfamiliar with the show, what happens is this: Donny Deutsch brings in a representative or representatives of a budding business venture. He then pairs them up with a couple of industry experts and, after interviewing the business hopefuls, gives the experts one minute to elaborate on why they think the business will or will not succeed. He asks them such questions as "What do you see as the obstacles for this business?" "Is there an edge here?" "Is this really a 'Big Idea'?" The feedback is important for the guests in moving forward with their business plans, and of course, they get exposure! Happily for TrueJeans, the results were all positive. The experts had some great feedback, and in the end, they got the thumbs up from Donny confirming that TrueJeans' service is definitely a Big Idea.

Donny points out during their mini-interview that they had earned a top-ranking position on Google for the extremely competitive term "jeans", which, in this technological age of fierce online competition, is a major point in their favor. TrueJeans was new to the blogging and SEO scene in January 2007 when we first initiated our services, but by the Summer, we had helped them to reach the top five, then top three, and eventually number one position on organic search rankings in Google for "jeans". This has really helped to bring in a plethora of new business by helping denim shoppers to find their site quickly and easily when searching. 

As one of our original blogging clients, TrueJeans has had a strong vision from the get-go. We couldn't be happier for them throughout their continued success. This is yet another feather in their cap to add to the already growing list of accomplishments including networking with influential bloggers, helping more and more readers find their perfect fit, partnering with the National Eating Disorders Association to combat unhealthy body image, and even traveling to Hollywood to help celebrities find their perfect pair of jeans for TV's Access Hollywood! 

We don't want to take all the credit for their success, of course, but we like to think that the blog has really had a profound impact on the wonderful opportunities that have come their way this past year. Keep up the good work, guys! 

Tags: blogging, corporate blogging success story, donny deutsch, scout blogging services, search engien marketing, seo, true jeans, true jeans donny deutsch, truejeans
Filed under: Blogging Strategy, Blogs Developed By Scout

Posted by Lesley Anderson on February 27, 2008 10:45 AM
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Scout Launches New Corporate blog for Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

hardwood-surface-logo.jpgI'm pleased to announce the launch of our latest corporate blog, Surface for our client, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Carlise is a hardwood flooring company that produces and sells very high quality hardwood floors made from old growth trees and recycled wood.

If you're looking for a great example of a company that's right for blogging, this is it. I mean everyone we've meet at the company from the President down to the receptionist is truly passionate about working at Carlisle, the customers they work with, and especially about the wood. If you don't believe me just watch this video of company President, Don Carlisle talking about the wood.

They have been an amazing client so far providing us with great feedback every step of the way and lots of access to their top sales and customer support people. We used this access to understand the needs and interests of their clients. After speaking with these folks we realized it also makes sense to make them the bloggers because they are the people that the clients most want to speak with.

Our established online marketing goals for the project center around brand awareness and search engine marketing. Together we have developed a strategy to create a discussion with their audience that that goes beyond product centric terms like hardwood flooring wood grains & styles to also delve into more customer centric topics like home decor styles, green living and forestry.

Now that we are past the blog community research design and development phase, the Scout team and I are looking forward to providing Carlisle with daily Scout Reports that help their bloggers key in on topics and keywords that are relevant to our overall marketing strategy. Please check out the blog and let us know what you think.

Tags: blog design, blogging strategy, carlisle wide plank floors, corporate blog, good example, hardwood flooring, new blog
Filed under: Blogs Developed By Scout

Posted by Stephen Turcotte on January 22, 2008 3:07 PM
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