Celia Brown and Amy Hatch came to brand journalism from different directions: One marketing and the other journalism. It’s the perfect mix for setting up a social newsroom, as the two have demonstrated at SAP.
At the Content2Conversion Conference, the duo offered three T’s of winning the marketing moment by establishing a social newsroom:
The two skill sets that each woman brought to SAP’s Social Newsroom dovetail perfectly. Amy, who sees the reporter side, said reporters love to get the big scoop. With a reporter on staff in the marketing department, content began to offer a transparency that wasn’t always evident, Amy said, in marketing content.
Reporters not only understand how to tell stories, but they know how to get people to read them. When you bring together the journalist and the marketer, what you get is a powerhouse — the brand journalist, Amy said.
To oversee the team, a smart marketing department will have a Marketing Editor In Chief overseeing their social newsroom. This role will develop a top-down editorial plan that will take into account the agenda of both the business and the audience it hopes to serve.
As the editorial calendar takes shape, the focus should shift from to include the company’s agenda as well as the audience agenda. While conferences and seasonal sales trends may influence the content generated by the company, the audience may be in a different place in their buying journey and will ultimately influence the publishing schedule.
The benefit that a journalist brings to the social newsroom is the ability to watch for and even anticipate headlines and topics. Paying attention to news headlines brings an element of the unknown into a marketing department’s editorial planning, but it also brings an element of relevancy not found in other organizations.
For example, when Celia noticed a news article that announced the Girls Scouts would be selling cookies online, she quickly curated 8 tips that the Girl Scouts could use to help improve their digital sales. The story appeared in Forbes as part of the magazine’s Brand Voice program and generated more than 40,000 views.
In order for a social newsroom to be successful, a few tools are required. When building a social newsroom, marketers will want to focus tools and services that can assist in the following areas:
- Social Listening
- Content Discovery
- Content Development
Content marketing tools is a rapidly growing area, and various tools will work best in different situations.
For a Social Newsroom within any organization to be considered successful, it will need to demonstrate ROI. When the C-Suite sees that additional staff are being added for writing content that appears on social media, showing that return on investment will be essential. Amy offered the following as key metrics to monitor and evaluate your social newsroom activities:
- Exposure – Is your audience sharing on social media and starting discussions?
- Engagement – Who are your audiences interacting with?
- Influence – Are you changing the way people think?
- Action – Did your audience take a desired action, such as visit pages, move toward purchase, etc?
No matter the tools you put in place to develop, distribute, monitor and measure your social newsroom content, perhaps the first T, Talent, is even more important, said Amy in closing.
Be sure to look for continued coverage of the conference with an upcoming session from Laura Ramos of Forrester Research.