Sunday, March 21, 2010

Creating and Embracing a Social Media Culture (ConAgra Foods)

Last month, on Nov 10, 2009 the 7th blogwell session took place in sunny Atlanta, Ga. (this is meant to be a joke for I have been twice to Atlanta so far and have seen a lot of rain not to mention flooding). Nearly a month later – and I am a little late for that – now that the dust has settled I wish to recap on some of the best sessions I was able to attend.

Stephanie Moritz, ConAgra foods presented her company and its many brands of foods (Hebrew National, Egg Beaters, Peter Pan, Banquet, Slim Jim, Kid Cuisine, Healthy choice…), most of which are huge hits in the US although less or even not at all known in Europe (another tale-telling example of non globalisation; there are many examples of brands which are immensely successful this side of the Atlantic and unknown on the other side and vice versa).

Stephanie explained how a big brand like ConAgra could use Social Media to stir passion within its fans. Here are my notes from that session, the live transcript of which you can also find here courtesy of Gaspedal and the Social Media Business Council.

Embracing a Social Media Culture

By Stephanie Moritz, ConAgra foods, USA

Social Media is everywhere. It is now mainstream. Consumers refuse to be marketed at. They want to participate, they have a passion. The challenge is to adapt it within a large organisation. How do you create inspiring programmes for your customers? It takes:

Targeted manageable plan,
A plan that supports business goals,
A focus on consensus building:
Setting a plan that achieves and ties to your business objectives
How do your get champions on board?
Long term commitment:

Phil Nieman from Gaspedal and Stephanie Moritz

1st step: understand how social media fits in our culture and objectives. How can you amplify your PR effort using SM
Creating a masterplan: define clear business objectives and match them with the SM initiative
Enterprise-wide solution. Not just Marketing
Establish some guidelines before moving into that space
Building the foundation first and listen to conversations. Who Responding to consumers. Addressing issues in a transparent manner.
Getting to know the blogging community. We ourselves tried blogs and tried and understand => Building communities
2nd step: getting senior management to become a champion (through CMO)
Digital immersion
3rd step: create coalition: there wasn’t much budget or staff. Experts and specialists throughout the organisation have been identified. All cross functional teams were identified. Enthusiasm made it.
(Audit) Identified key bloggers and organised discussions on products and how they could work together.
Created a Twitter page, spent a lot of time on it
Created a facebook page
Benchmarks, listened to conversations
Attended blogger events and blogger media conferences for the sole purpose of listening
When should a brand use social media? Not everyone should jump on the bandwagon Benchmarks are carried out continuously Key to success:

Set clear goals,
Create enterprise-wide endorsement,
Determine roadmap,
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