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Want to Expand Your Brand’s Reach? Using the ANGEL Strategy?

September 15 2010

sandycarterspeakingThe world is changing. Today the opinions of clients make or break brands. Socialization of negative feedback is more prolific and influential than we have ever seen.

This is the message Sandy Carter, Vice President Software Business Partners for IBMbrought to a WITI keynote address. Her seminar was titled, “Ecosystems, Partners and Social Media: A 10 Minute Warning.”

She began with a personal story about Foursquare. For those who do not know, Foursquare is a location-based social networking game. Sandy uses this technology to “check-in” to various hotels, restaurants and local hot-spots to share her location and preferences with her Foursquare friends.

Once, Sandy came across a certain hotel that was offering a discount, and so she booked a room at that quoted price. When she arrived at the hotel, they quoted a higher rate. Disappointed, she socialized that this hotel could not be trusted to stick with advertised prices. Within a minute the supervisor come out of her office and said, “We will adjust your price, if you stop tweeting.” So what did Sandy do? She got on Foursquare and become the mayor of the hotel to promote it.

The power of consumers talking to other consumers is clear, and powerful.

Social media amplifies the power of the consumer, here are some examples.

  • Every day 2 billion videos are added to the Internet
  • 200 million blogs exist
  • 1 billion iPhone apps were downloaded in 9 months
  • 90 million tweets are tweeted every day
  • 1 million new users sign up for LinkedIn each day
  • 80% of companies use Facebook for recruitment
  • 350 million people have a profile on Facebook

You can’t ignore the power these channels have on forming and maintaining your brand.

Sandy reported on a social media survey IBM undertook.

  • 45% of businesses use social media
  • 80% of executives report going on LinkedIn each week
  • 74% of professionals are seeking education on social computing

Based on these statistics, IBM determined to embrace social networks and use them to build their brand. No matter the industry, the IBM story is inspiring and the strategies below can be embraced across the board.

Sandy and IBM love acroymns. So for their Framework for Business 2.0 strategy, they created ANGLES.

  • Analyze the market Nail the relevant strategy and story
  • Go to market - socially
  • Energize the channel and community
  • Leads and revenues
  • Scream - Rise above the social noise around you and be heard
  • Letter A – Analyze the market

Social media is like a cocktail party: you listen then respond. Find out what is the vibe on social media? Spend your time listening; listen 50% of the time before you act.

Dominoes Pizza didn’t do well. They told employees to unleash on social media campaign and make videos, write blogs, etc. Two employees took that advice and published a video of them taking cheese, stuffing it up their nose and then placing it back on the pizza. The video went up on YouTube on a holiday weekend, and by Monday Dominoes realized why profits had dropped by 20% in three days. Bad social buzz has serious effects.

Sandy is a big advocate for tracking your brand on social media channels. She recommends free solutions like Addict-O-Matic, which reports how many people re-tweeted, read your posts and what is being said about you and your brand.

Letter N - Nail the relevant strategy and story.

Social business goals need to be set.

  1. Ensure customer service is superior
  2. Need new business ideas - crowd source
  3. Increase demand generation in the white space

Sandy shared a story about a customer who said something negative about an IBM product on Twitter. Sandy and her team were listening, and as a result responded quickly. They answered the question right away assuring the customer his business was valuable. What did the upset customer do? He in return promptly thanked IBM and blogged about their good customer service. The harmful message was caught and turned into a success story and a loyal customer.

Next, look at new business ideas for how to reach your target audience through new, breaking technologies. You may have heard about YouTube, but did you know that you can create a video on YouTube that is a fully functional website homepage? created a website in a YouTube video. Don’t believe me? See below.

This small ad company with 4,000 hits a year increased their online traffic to 500,000 hits per year by utilizing as their homepage. This was also a smart move as video is rated higher for SEO purposes.

Letter G: Go-to-market and drive demand

  1. Increase event registrations (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  2. Build community - (Blog, Flickr, and YouTube) – IBM opened up the channels for consumers to talk about IBM. Hundreds of videos popped up with customers telling why they like IBM.
  3. Improve conversations - (widget “syndicate IBM partner assets and sales info,” live person).

IBM created a virtual event that welcomed 7,000 business partners worldwide and resulted in the selling of over 10,000 IBM product deliverables.

Letter E: Energize the channel and community

Energize through information, for example widgets. IBM provided an information widget with multiple channels for users to click through. It charts how many users are using your widget and what they are looking at.

Energize through education.

IBM wanted to engage Gen Y and so they went to colleges and learned that students wanted to know why fortune 500 companies weren’t targeting the gaming sphere. Good question, but who would have thought?

IBM created a game called Innov8 - code: A BPM and gave it to students to educate them. IBM's "serious gaming" academic initiative was designed to teach business process management (BPM) to students. They also created a way to generate leads from doing this. To post their score online, students have to provide their information. This is now a successful way IBM reaches younger audiences and generates business.You can find the trailer to Innov8 on YouTube, or watch it below.

Letter L: Leads and revenue

How do you track your engagement?

Look at what IBM is doing:

  • IBM Cognos helps build leads & VLR, dashboards and new metrics.
  • IBM results via social media. Brought in $2.17 million in leads for potential business
  • Sandy found that the best lead tracking solutions are not free. These include HubSpot, Techrigy, Radian, Scoutlabs, Crimson Hexagon.

Letter S: Scream

How do you get your message to scream through the noise and get attention?

Radio Fides, an official radio station of Catholic Church in Costa Rica decided that with H1N1 swine flu, the annual pilgrimage to confession could put adherents at risk. So they took the 228 year old tradition of walking on knees to church, and created it virtually so as not to spread the disease. Pilgrims can talk virtually to one another while on the way to the church, when the users get into the virtual church, they can confess to online priests. This new religious social platform can be viewed in the below YouTube video.

The platform was blessed by the Vatican and was opened by the church worldwide.

This framework helps you to spend your time in the right place. “Magic” (innovation) happens in social business.

Sandy Carter closed by saying success depends on:

  • 80% - planning, strategy, objectives set
  • 20% - selecting the right tool

The question and answer session afterwards created some interesting feedback:

Q: How do you easily determine ROI with social media?
A: You can track ROI on everything, if you think ahead about what you want to know for successful measurement.

Q: Personal brand. How much of yourself do you want to reveal?
A: Venture capitalists often base their opinion about a new investment on the person (the passion) and then the idea. Find your professional passion and bring that to life in social media channels. How much you choose to reveal is personal.

Q: How do you recommend small, private companies start a successful social media campaign?
A: Pick goals, and go after them. My hair stylist decided to reach people in a younger generation in New York. He created a fan page and posted discounts on Facebook and Twitter. He went from 1 client a week to 40 a week in 30 days!

What do you think about the ANGELS strategy? Can you apply this to your real estate business? How? Leave a comment and continue the conversation.