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Socialights’ One-on-One with Coralie D’Souza

12 Nov

Socialights got the opportunity to speak with social media guru, communications advisor and strategist Coralie D’Souza. Coralie, Communications Director of the G(irls)20 Summit and published writer, reveals her tricks and outlook on social media and how to keep it under your belt.

Prior to her role in the G(irls)20 Summit, Coralie has spent 10 years working in politics (at the municipal, provincial, as well as federal levels) as a press

secretary, communications advisor, and strategist in response to diverse political leaders, cabinet ministers, and influential figures. Additionally, Coralie has worked on four general elections with responsibilities regarding planning as well as conducting multilingual communications strategies. Coralie’s commitment to the advancement of women is apparent from her work at the 2011 G(irls)20 Summit in Paris, France where she executed the social media strategy communicating the Summit’s ongoings around the globe (http://www.girls20summit.com/about/staff/coralie-dsouza/). When Carolie is not working on the G(irls)20 Summit, she is a Hired-Gun Publicist who works with numerous clients varying in size, on issues regarding girls, women, social issues, diversity and multiculturalism.

Check out Coralie’s full biography on the G(irls)20 Summit website: http://www.girls20summit.com 

Q&A:

1. Describe the importance of social media. How has it become a key part in marketing and reaching consumers? 

Our relationship with social media is constantly evolving – but it’s a more direct way to get to consumers.  It began as quite direct, when there were fewer people on it who were using it quite actively and paying attention.  It was a way to get directly in touch with “influencers” and thought-leaders.  It was also a way for high profile people to connect with their fans (and subsequently, consumers).  As it becomes more and more popular, it too is being overrun with advertising.

2. What social media platforms, or workflows, do you use? How do you manage them?

I am a fan of HootSuite. It allows for many people on the same team to manage identical accounts and to work together. On occasion, I do us Klout to view how widespread my clients’ reach is. Additionally, social mention is helpful for tracking and trolling social media for key words and messages.

3. On average, how many times a day do you use social platforms? For instance, how many Tweets do you compose per day?

I am on these platforms almost constantly. For example, I’ve always got hootsuite open on my desktop.  Each client tweets approximately 6 times a day, both scheduled and spontaneous tweets.

 4. When do you find the prime times are to use social media? 

According to research I have come across, just after lunch – throughout the hours of 1 and 3 pm. Also, HootSuite has a helpful mechanism to detect the prime time for your tweets and automatically sends them out for you.

5. How do you effectively target consumers via social media?

I respond instantly if I can. Furthermore, I keep my content fresh and interesting so that people remain interested and look forward to what I am tweeting next. Also, I try to come out with content first, in other words, information nobody else has. For example, who resigns from Cabinet in advance of the Liberal Leadership Race.

6. Are there any downfalls when using social media? For instance, is it time consuming, not producing the expected results, and so on.

It’s time consuming. Coming up with fresh and interesting content is sometimes time consuming too.  Additionally, you must take precaution in what you say – what you say never really dies. If you say the wrong thing, it can be forever tracked.

7. What do you believe is the most valuable lesson you have learned through your experience with social media?

Definitely analytics.  The ability to prove one’s reach – via click through and analytics.

8. In your opinion, what program was the most difficult to become familiar with?

They’re all pretty intuitive.  I found Google ads to be difficult to adjust to (considering there are companies dedicated to just managing that).

9. Why do you find social media so effective for your line of business?

It’s a great way of keeping my clients and projects fresh in people’s minds.

10. How did you promote yourself via Twitter and Facebook in the starting-out stages?

I am naturally friendly in person.  This has translated to about 2,800 Facebook friends that I actually know.

In terms of clients, I have developed strategies which involve tweeting at the suitable times, releasing the correct content and following the right people. With assistance from media and partner organizations, in terms of the G(irls)20 Summit, I’ve built a network of just over 12,000 Facebook friends & 6, 000 Twitter followers.

11. Did you have any assistance with social media or did you teach yourself?

I am self-taught. I have always been a social person, so social media was quite natural.

12. Do you have tips about what you shouldn’t do with your Facebook?

I recommend that businesses determine whether they need a Facebook account or not, as it is not an effective tool for everyone.  If they choose the Facebook route, I think posting photos of relevant products and linking to Pinterest is an effective way to cross-promote.

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Social Media Workflows

29 Oct

Do you ever find yourself with too many tangled social media accounts and being unable to efficiently manage them? Consider investing in a social media workflow: a series of connected steps that tie an entire organization as a whole that minimize both error and overlapping of tasks in order to effectively serve your desired target market. Although the benefits of social media workflows vary, the most common is an increase in productivity and time management, as well, the ability to sync all accounts without unprofessional mishaps or confusion. Without the use of a workflow, your venture could fall behind productively and experience a social media crisis.

Finding a social media workflow that best fits both you and your venture can sometimes be challenging. Factors such as fear of difficulty or inexperience, training or lack of team adaptation, or simply the overwhelming amount of opinionated blogs and sources can distract you from investing in a workflow. Well not anymore. Socialights’ are here to save the day! Below is a comparison of three popular social media workflows that may work for you!

HootSuite

Serving over 4+ million customers, HootSuite is universally one of the most commonly known social media workflows. Serving both small and large corporations, clients such as Mc Donalds’, Sony Music, and Lamborghini use HootSuite to effectively manage multiple media platforms. HootSuite allows users to manage multiple social profiles, schedule messages as well as tweets, track brand mentions, and analyze social media traffic.

 Advantages

HootSuite offers 3 price-dependent membership plans, allowing ventures to find one that suits them best. Unlike other social media workflow systems, the flexibility of price planning is great as it welcomes smaller businesses who are new to the social media realm. It allows companies to upgrade their membership as they grow in the social media community and require highly integrated utilities. By upgrading your membership, tools such as unlimited social profiles, enhanced analytical reports (including Google and Facebook insights), and unlimited RSS feeds are available at your fingertips are available. This allows the user to customize in terms of preference. As social media is a key player in modern-day marketing it is important to analyze who is your target market and whom you are actually targeting. With the use of analytical reports, the volume of traffic can be further analyzed in terms of helpful data such as demographics. HootSuite is also web based, meaning it can be used via iPhone (including other mobile devices), iPad, and with a computer allowing social network management to be easily accessible as well as flexible! HootSuite as an online platform benefits the user in terms of computer resources; memory, mobility as well as flexibility of internet servers (Firefox, Chrome).

 Disadvantages

Although HootSuite has a visually appealing interface, there is not enough space to display more than 4 columns at the same time. Due to the tight space, it is important to plan and prioritize columns and tools accordingly. As well, there are not many tools in the free version, and there is a slow updating process on both mobile and computer interfaces. Additionally, the Android platform does not post links to picture posts via Facebook. Without being able to preview images, it is impossible to tag and other actions are hindered through these devices.

Interested in setting up a HootSuite account? Check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SDwu4ggiuQ

Sysomos

The new and improved Sysomos is redefining social media analytics that allows users to measure, monitor, and understand social media traffic at ease with a few clicks of the mouse. The 4 key steps of Sysomos’ methodology are: data collection, information processing, data analysis, and you (the user). As conversations are happening within both social and traditional media, Sysomos processes the information and converts it into metrics as well as comparative trends. With all this information, the user can collect insights regarding social buzz and geo-demographics.

 Advantages

Providing access to all blogs, social networks, micro-blogging services, forums, and media sources, Sysomos is your one-stop workflow for an extensive generated analysis. Covering all major social media sources, from Facebook to LinkedIn and so on, Sysomos is equipped with Heartbeat and Sysomos MAP applications. As the social media world is rapid and growing, trusted instantaneous results are a must in order to make quick, reliable decisions. Heartbeat, a social media monitoring and measurement tool, provides consistent updated insights of conversations via user-friendly graphics. Heartbeat organizes means of communication such as conversation, workflows, and collaborations with the use of split screens that filter topics of interest. For example, Tweets about a particular product in a positive tone. The Sysomos MAP is a psychographic tool that delivers insights as well as intelligence that delivers insights regarding why they are happening and who is driving them. With the use of this application, unlimited queries, collaboration, and detailed reports for clients are possible. Sysomos dashboard is of great convenience, as it allows the user to monitor all pages from a single dashboard designed for team collaboration and easy reporting. Additionally, insights and analysis can be delivered through email, widgets, and PDF reports – whichever suits your needs best. Unlike HootSuite, the price of this workflow is not hidden and is affordable when compared to other workflows.

Disadvantages

Unfortunately, only signing up with Sysomos does not provide you with their original products, Heartbeat and Sysomos MAP.  Sysomos’ basic Heartbeat program costs $550 US a month but requires a startup cost of $500 US. This program comes equipped with 5 search queries, 10 tags and unlimited results. As your venture or needs grow, upgrades are available to increase the amount of queries and tags. Additionally, Sysomos lacks Youtube and Google buzz, in other words, analysis of popular topics via these platforms.

 Cision

Cision is a social media monitoring workflow that notifies the user what is being said via social channels in order to shape your approach and engage with your market. Similar to Sysomos, Cision provides analytics and powerful metrics that allow the user to define and track valuable information from all social media websites, including file ad image sharing sites.

 Advantages

Cision, a UK and Sweden based company, partnered with 125 countries worldwide ensures a diverse language selection and is optimized for multi-national clients with a large amount of global contacts. As an easy tool to setup, Cision’s workflow is customizable and provides training through their website. Additionally, free tools, such as EdCals, alerts customers on major stories and events. The CisionPoint tool optimizes major channels and can record and store every media interaction to one place. According to blog PR Campanion, 49/50 PR agencies, corporations, nonprofits, universities, and solo practitioners use Cision’s workflow.

Disadvantages

Cision is known for poor customer service in terms of long wait times regarding questions and concerns about the workflow. Additionally, Cision’s visually poor interface is often confusing and requires solid training.

Social media workflows are beneficial yet intricate. It is important to define what is an efficient workflow for your venture in terms of software and practices. By establishing the purpose of your workflow, it is easier to narrow down the options. For instance, consider HootSuite vs. Sysomos. Sysomos’ strengths include extensive analytical applications similar to HootSuite (ie. the one of a kind Sysomos MAP – defines demographic and psychographics of targeted social media). Although HootSuite provides analytical applications as well, Sysomos’ applications seem to be more in-depth and specialized in this sector. Based on your venture’s objectives and needs of a workflow, the user is able to invest on a workflow based on cost, time, training, and level of need. So before you decide on which social media workflow to use, think about what you want it to do, and chose the one that fits best.

Sources:

http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2012/08/29/breakdown-social-media-workflow-process-triage/

http://www.sysomos.com/social-media-monitoring/

http://www.cision.com/uk/products-and-services/social-media-monitoring/

http://prcompanion.com/blog/2012/04/compare-cision-vocus/

http://www.cisionwire.com/packaging-and-pricing/