Social Media Strategies Summit #SMSSummit – Learnt Lessons Day 1

Social Media Strategies Summit #SMSSummit – Learnt Lessons Day 1

27th June 2014

On June 18th and 19th, the international Social Media Strategies Summit 2014 was held in Amsterdam at the Mercure Hotel Amsterdam City (@MercureAdamCity). The perfect spot according to a lot of attendees and speakers because “Amsterdam is awesome”.  And of course I agreed. Anyway, let’s cut the chauvinistic talk and start with the learnings and take aways of Day 1.

WORKSHOP: Conducting Your Company’s Social Media Audit – Jeff Gibbard (@jgibbard)

President and Chief Strategist at True Voice Media,  a Social Business agency headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Specialized in Social Business Strategy and Design, Social Media Marketing, and Training.

JeffGibbardIt turns out my seat is next to Jeff’s iPod on which he’s filming. I’m being warned not to move too much. In a very friendly way that is 😉

Jeff starts out with a question to us all. Why would you conduct an audit? You conduct an audit because then you can make better decisions moving your company forward. A commonly known error made by many organizations is that they will focus on social media goals. The right attitude is to focus on BUSINESS goals and business outcome. So not on likes, followers and “all that garbage” </unquote>

1. What are our business goals? Examples:

  • Brand awareness
  • Brand loyalty
  • Lead generation
  • Sales
  • Reduced costs
  • Faster innovation

After setting your business goals, you need to specify them.

  • Increased brand  – awareness network size, social shares.
  • Brand sentiment – shift in sentiment, shift in volume.
  • Brand loyalty  – repeat sales, visitors and brand advocates, increased organic FB reach.
  • Lead generation – lead pages, incoming leads, most successful content for driving leads.
  • Sales – volume of sales, sales attribution, best performing sales resources and performing people.
  • Customer Service – If this is one of your goals, look at improved webcare. Comcast has halved their costs by using twitter. Also look at customer satisfaction scores.
  • Innovation – when to market your products.

So, what makes sense when looking at your business goals, not your social media goals,

Your goals dictate everything!

Second important giveaway is that you should not just review only your branded company accounts. Also check other accounts like employees, competitors, customers (are they talking to your competitors?).

Social media doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so also review your website, blog, social media profiles (and determine the right social network for your company), search visibility, email marketing. The latter is a very important medium with a very high conversion. You WILL reach that inbox.

Don’t only look from your company’s perspective. Also use your customer’s point of view. Use the wisdom of the crowds. Use their opinion. Use the 360 view. Now, that’s an effective strategy.

Jeff points out that we know of 2 types of analysis. Quantitative and qualitative analysis. The first one is easy. It’s measurable and there’s a right answer to it. But. The second one is where the real meat is.

Quantitative analysis tools:

  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook Insights (best times of day to post)
  • Twitter Analytics
  • Youtube Analytics
  • SocialBro (best times of day to tweet)
  • Followerwonk
  • Klout, Kred, PeerIndex etc.

Note: don’t put a lot of weight in tools like Klout, Kred etc. it’s just a quick measurement.

Qualitative analysis tools:

  • observe (twitter search on your name)
  • ask (survey)

After a quick coffee break, Jeff starts with the workshop part. Our assignment:

  • Audit your company profiles and website
  • Audit 3 competitors profiles and website
  • Audit 3 employees profiles and website
  • Audit 3 customer profiles and website

After this hard labour, it’s Oprah time! Jeff is handing out a few nice freebees to us.

  • First a must read: “How to set a killer content strategy for a year in one day”.
  • Do you feel that you don’t have enough time for blogging? Have your copywriter call you when you’re commuting in the morning to your office and ask you 5 questions.
  • Oh, and most people focus on 80% creation, 20% promotion when it comes to their blog. Flip it!
  • Jeff’s way to aggregate content: combining rss feeds in Also is an excellent way for content-research.
  • How should you determine on which network your organization should operate? First export your business email contacts via a .csv file to a dummy gmail account and find out on which social platform(s) most people are. Furthermore use known demographics and import them in Forrester’s Social Technological Profile.
    Forrester classifies e.g. Collectors (Tumbler, Pinterest), Creators (Blogs etc), Critics, Conversationists
  • Is your company on Instagram? Make 15 seconds video testimonials (and also distribute these on other platforms).

You can find Jeff’s presentation here.

WORKSHOP: Developing Your Social Media Strategy on a Budget- Michael Koenka (@MDKoenka)

Strategy Director at Curiosity Amsterdam,  a full-service advertising partner who blends data, technology and human behaviour with award-winning creativity. Next to this, Michael owns MDK Social Strategy which works directly with the world’s biggest brands, corporates, and advertising agencies to help them maximize their business and social gain.


Pre-conference, Michael (Canadian but living in Amsterdam), emailed the workshop participants and asked them which topics they would like to have covered. The overall answer was “the bigger picture” and  story telling. So, this workshop is adapted to these needs and doesn’t fit the workshop title that much anymore.

To start off: “Effective Social Media Plans are like great stories”

Think for a second about what people would want to share, not what YOU like to share. Key point: Great stories are memorable and effective.. Because in being memorable, stories can live on and be sustainable. The best brand stories build and sustain rich vivid and emotionally packed memories rooted in real-life experiences. The term ‘story’ by the way can be changed to e.g. brand proposition. can be used to discover engaging content.

“In the end, people don’t give a shit about you and your brand”. Unless you can make them part of your conversation by adding these kinds of stories. Storytelling is set in a new media ecosystem nowadays that contains video, blogs, search, responsive sites, social sharing and CRM.

Thus now the greatest stories can be truly personal because of the granularity of this new ecosystem. Today you can tell different kinds of stories to different kinds of people while maintaining your corporate brand story. The tone of voice and way of interacting shifts with types of people. In that way, it SEEMS you’re talking in a personal way with everyone.

In other words, profiling 2.0. Understand profiles, touchpoints and customer journey. So you can meet them at their level. This could vary from “download this pdf” to “come to our store”.

We can be measurably effective. This is important since ROI on social is necessary to present to your management. So Michael is taking us into these steps with the workshop. So let’s get to the nitty and gritty.

  • The repetitive effect will cut your budget.
  • Good stories get better over time as they develop and grow to new digital trends.
  • Categorize different kinds of content e.g. brand-related, customer-related, text or visuals. Group different interactions like Likes, RTs etc.  Just 3 KPI’s will provide you with rich information.
  • If you list your KPI’s on more than one hand, you already are in deep. Use your KPI’s together with Rapid-cycle tests and learn processes (test, learn and improve, test, learn and improve etc.).

Set D.U.M.B. goals and if business objectives are clear you can use as many objectives as you please. But keep it simple!


How can you make the most out of your Social Media?

  1. Allocate time wisely by investing no more than 45 minutes for an average 8-hour day  in creating content. For the remainder? Interact and engage with your audience. Because once you understand your customers you can create truly engaging stories.
  2. First put a strategy. Without one you cannot manage what you measure. If you decide to use paid media, fuel it with great content, not average content.

Our workshop assignment: pick a brand with your table group and discuss their objectives, social media etc.

You can find Michael’s presentation here.

KEYNOTE: Embracing Social Media – The Journey Towards Digital Leadership-  Floris Regouin (@florisregouin)

Head of Digital Marketing at Samsung Electronics Benelux. Floris is responsible for Digital Owned media, Social Media, Paid Media (e.g. Display Advertising, Search Engine Marketing), CRM and eCommerce


Floris signals 3 trends nowadays:

  1. People are always ON
  2. Owning to access
  3. Hyper Individualisation (it’s all about me, selfies)

Where would we be if we didn’t have our smart devices? But it is no longer about the device, it’s about the content. An impressive number of 70,000 Samsung employees are busy innovating the brand within the company. Together of course with 510.000 Dutch Facebook fans.

How do you set your digital journey and your digital leadership accordingly? By taking babysteps and by trying to discover this new world.  “Digital excellence comes with trial and error, like a child learning to walk”. The tools you need for this journey are memory and effort. You could also use influentials and be present on social at moments that matter to connect and engage (like Blue Monday). Make the feel special and invite them to participate. Samsung used the trending hashtag #pp14 to seduce visitors of music festival PinkPop in ordering a pink Samsung phone case. High relevance delivering high engagement.

Takeaways Samsung:

  • Anytime, anywhere, integrate digital at start and make it always on;
  • Link into customer journey;
  • Make it personal and hyper relative;
  • Try to adapt and innovate, continuously and agile

Tweeting for Europe: Social Media, Press & Politics- Alexandra Ekkelenkamp (@alexekkelenkamp) 

Press Officer for Social Media at Council of the European Union. Alexandra coordinates the Council’s social media activities and is the driving force behind the developing social media strategy within the Council. Social media monitoring and the day to day management of the Council’s social media accounts also fall under her remit.


The core European Union content on Social Media consists of hard news, reliable and real time. Tons of decisions are being made in Alexandra’s office. And as soon as a decision is made they push it to the journalists.  The European Union has a legal obligation  to stream live. These streams can get a bit boring, so we try to spice it up by special guests like Jamie Oliver. The main objective is unlocking information to citizens. And that is a major difference to customers. We don’t want to sell, we have to inform.

#euco is a powerful hashtag for the European twitter sphere. Although Twitter is not the biggest network for Andrea/European Union, it is the most interesting network because of the realtime connection. Andrea also post’s for her boss Herman van Rompuy and handles several other personal twitter accounts.

Other strategies:

  • Visual storytelling behind the scenes (posting a Behind the Scenes picture of Angela Merkel during the EU-Africa Summit
  • Integrating online with offline
  • Twitter Q&A (lesson learnt: maybe next time a Google hangout instead of a twitter Q&A, so no risk of trolls)

Alexandra uses all departments in search of content. e.g. in August, a slow month she posted really old photographs of EU members and discussed those.

For monitoring Alexandra uses Brandwatch, Hootsuite, Twitonomy, Twimemachine, Topsy and native analytics.

Lessons Learnt:

  • Start small
  • Engage and train colleagues
  • Use and integrate social media as a tool
  • Test Drive new ideas
  • Plan ahead but be flexible
  • Show and tell

You can find Alexandra’s presentation here.

Thought Leader Q & A: Social Media Management Tips-  Jochem van Drimmelen (@MyXQQ)

Online Reputation Manager & Social Media Advisor at Headquarters KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

interviewed by Remco Janssen (@remcojanssen), founder of Proudly Represents, a boutique-style PR agency


Q: What is your role?

A: I’m responsible for Rules of Engagement, issue management, training and storylines


Q: What’s the secret to KLM’s success and webcare?

A: We are setting new standards. A one-stop-shop. And we value cooperation, transparency, mandate and authenticity.


Q: How do you empower your social media service agents?

A: It has to do with mindset. Use common sense, adapt to the situation, person or culture involved and we don’t like hierarchy.


Q: How do you manage issues?

A: By analyzing and by being self-critical and purposely naïve. Also we focus on possibilities and mobilize stakeholders.


Q: Can you give a case study?

A: We once received a request for upgrading a cancer patient on a trip to Australia. Friends and family donated their Frequent Flyer miles. The rest was donated to cancer research.


Q: What are your biggest challenges?
A: Further optimizing our customer journey in terms of online/offline, mobile/social, big data, social CRM and relevance. And maintaining our solid level of quality and coherence in a fast growing organization.

Building a Social Media Team and maintaining productivity-  Alethia Austin (@Alethiaja)

Social Media Marketing Strategist and Kickstarter Strategist with an emphasis of experience and expertise in social media strategy and implementation.


First of all, set your goals like maintain industry standards, e.g. increase sales, drive traffic to your site etc. Then the “pain in the ass” issue: you have to allocate budget for social media.

Secondly, define key roles in your Social Media Team:

  • Social Media Manager – ties everyone together, signals trends and reports to management
  • Community Manager – very important. Has to have patience and connects customers /prospects with your brands. The Community Manager should know your brand
  • Content Creator  – creating awesome content is key, especially in social media. Also e.g. set up a blog. Bloggers are great for pushing content and ghostwriting.  Designers for all kinds of content, email marketing etc.
  • Analyst –  someone who rules the analytics. Compares the value of various channels and gives insight to your audience

Look for ruling qualifications in your key roles:

  • Personable
  • Curious
  • Lives online, communication skills
  • Level headed
  • Should feel passionate of your brand

Then ask yourself.. Who are we as a company? What are our values? If our company would be a person, who would we be? Feelgood always wins.

Identify and unify your brand voice. So train, monitor, release and communicate when a new member enters the team. Invest the time to train this new person, although you have a packed agenda.

Final thoughts:

  • Social Media should be fun. And also taken seriously
  • Inspiration comes in many forms
  • At he core of social lies connection with the customer

You can find Alethia’s presentation here.

Mobile vs. Social-  Bart Fuzzel (bartfuzzle)

CEO and co-founder of @ a FrogLeap, a full service mobile agency based in Amsterdam that advises, concepts and build mobile products.


Bart is starting off with a little survey:

  • Who emails in bed?
  • Who uses Whatsapp or Facebook  on the toilet?
  • Who connects to Facebook and Twitter in random apps?
  • Who trusts a dating app with a social connect?

Think about it for a minute..

Bart’s mobile theory consists of  great user experience, cross channel data integration and contextual relevancy. These components stand for user engagement.

Nowadays we have 25% of mobile web users that are mobile-only. They don’t even visit your full site on a laptop. In 2 years’ time, this will be over 50%. Be prepared with your mobile website.

Websites suffer from “graceful degration”.  From big monitors to small mobile devices.

A quite important feature is “seamless experience”  e.g. you’re searching on and when you switch to your phone, you will have the same search criteria prefilled.

In the book “Grouped” by Paul Adams (on which Google Circles is based), real life social is compared to digital social. In real life you only have 10 strong ties. People you are really close to. As compared to 150 weak ties in your social environment.  Does this match with your digital social life? Who has more than 300 Facebook friends?

Types of social:

  • Social monitoring
  • Social webcare
  • Social Marketing (most interesting type)

Mobile vs. Social takeaways:

  1. Push to social from your app (sharing functionality from within your app to the networks)
  2. Enable social connecting to increase relevancy (like Tinder and Spotify).
  3. Create your own social experience when developing an app like gamification
  4. Social is the best mobile app activator (like suggested Apps in your Facebook timeline)

You can find Bart’s presentation here.



Written By
Fatima is an online marketer and social strategist at GunFactor 3.0. After years of sales, marketing and corporate office positions, Fatima started out in 1998 as an independent webdesigner.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.