Thomson Reuters: Leveraging internal experts — Live from Member Meeting 31

Coverage of this session by Laura Berrones of Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

4:30 —'s Lauren Clevenger introduces Thomson Reuters' Associate Director of Social Media Strategies, Casey Hall.

4:31 — Casey Hall: Managing social for a legal business unit meant looking at our corporate blog and giving it an overhaul. It was time to be less product-focused and more content-focused.

4:33 — Casey: What I really wanted to do was kick all of the marketers off the blog. They wanted to talk products.

4:34 — Casey: We had to ask, “How do you want to use the blog?” We decided the thought leadership position is extremely important, but we also wanted to focus on conversion. How can we get them to engage with us?

4:35 — Our content strategy included organizing content better and serving the leader instead of marketing goals.

4:37 — Casey: Engaging content is more valuable to our readers. That's why products should not be the focus.

4:39 — Casey: We made sure that every post was written by a person with expert status. Why? Because BtoB audiences who seek out industry blogs are already well-informed.

4:40 — All the marketers heard was that they were being evicted from the blog. Up until then a lot of their jobs focused on product promotion on the blog. Needless to say, strategy was not well received, so we had to provide alternatives.

4:41 — Casey: We had some amazing internal experts, but they weren't necessarily ready for prime time. So we implemented a company-wide social media training overview with blog-specific guidelines. It's a one page document that lays out the process easily and digestible. It's purpose was to calm the fears of getting on the blog and knowing what to post.

4:43 — Casey: There was a lot of upfront investment to get people trained and on board, but once they were ready, they were a focused resource.

4:45 — Casey shares Thomson Reuters' old workflow: new product/feature, press release is created, submit the release as post, and publish it on a blog.

Their new workflow #1: new product, consult, identify theme, map a blog series, identify topical experts, curate a blog series, publish on a blog.

Their new workflow #2: expert sees something interesting, suggests a blog post/series, considers how to best leverage it, and publishes it on the blog.

4:47 — Casey: Instead of simply posting to post, we created a strategy and story to tell the information. It turns it into a collaboration of stories to deliver the product.

4:49 — Casey shares some results: They had an increase of page views by 277% in the first six months, and their outbound traffic increased by 240%.

Q & A:

Q: How were you able to leverage blog content across other platforms and did you see similar success?

A: Casey: The blog is our hub of content. Our growth on Twitter and LinkedIn is not as dramatic of an increase, but certainly increased.

Q: How did you get people who are thought leaders to want to participate in this type of program?

A: Casey: Print marketing is not what it used to be. So it makes it easier for some authors to get involved. Would get out there and talk to them about the opportunity of visibility and creating a name for themselves.

Q: Not everyone who is a thought leader is a writer. How do you edit that content?

A: Casey: I'm the sole editor. How much can I edit someone who knows more about the subject than I do? I make comments on how to talk about the topic in a different manner, by giving more holistic edits than simply red-penning the document.

Q: Do you have people internally come to you and say “Can you write my blog for me?”

A: Casey: Yes, but what I would do is help them find someone to help them write it and let them work with the new contributor.

Q: When does personal vanity come into the situation, and how do you deal with it?

A: Casey: We try to help by giving them guidance on building a personal brand.

Q: How do you deal with comments on the blog?

A: Casey: We don't get a lot of comments. I'm not sure why, and I wish we did. People are allowed to disagree with us, but then reach out to the author and discuss that they should answer back, and make sure that they're not behaving badly.