#b2bhuddle: Allan Schoenberg

Allan Schoenberg's keynote

Liveblogging: errors, grammar mistakes and odd sentence structure likely…

Allan Schoenberg, executive director, corporate communications, CME Group

The CME Group was founded in 1848, and runs five financial exchanges around the world. 

They got involved with the “traditional” social media platforms in 2007. Financial traders have always been social – gathering information and communication from each other in the trading pits onwards. Twitter is becoming a virtual trading floor. It’s a natural progression for the company. They started in 2007 with Facebook, after he found a group talking about CME. They now have a social working group. Up until 2009 it was just Allan – now they have seven people, and they “meet” through  monthly calls, talking compliance, strategy and measurement. China has expanded massively on social over the last two years – they use local social media as their exclusive marketing channels there. 

For the last 18 months they’ve focused on the visual – YouTube, SlideShare, Instagram and Pinterest. They use Instagram as a recruiting tool. There are some historical photos, but the majority are live and immediate, taken by staff who are keen photographers. Their focus is on niche markets. They use StockTwits and track by specific products – like gold, copper and so on. They can drill down and connect with real customers in a live environment. They collect 40,000 messages a month. 

They like to think of social as an environment for fans. They want to build loyalty, and go to their customers. They want to develop advocacy through social-base dedication. And, of course, they do monitoring. They’re an enterprise client of Hootsuite. 

  • They use LinkedIn – they have 10 groups, the majority of which are private and a sales tool. They have a few hundred people in them. They train specific sales people to use LinkedIn. 
  • Content has been key to them for while. They build content calendars around key announcements and events, stretching out months afterwards. 
  • They collect data – they have influence and eyeball metrics. How do you separate the two and drill down into the metrics that matter? They experiment a lot – and collect and process a lot of information from what they do. 
  • Community – they try and focus on niche networks and build small, quality connections with people. They’re exploring Google+ Hangouts – 10 people is fine, as long as they’re the right 10 people.

Content is an extreme differentiator for them. They pull in a lot of content from other sources – Nobel prize winners and authors doing guest posts on their blog, for example. They know who their content influencers are – internally and externally: internal photographers, external experts and bloggers. They try to maintain a consistent 24/7 presence on social. They work hard to maximise relationship with partners and vendors to support their work. They give key partners a heads-up on what they’re doing.

Measurement is a constant challenge – but they have a culture of checking very day. They look closely at where they fail, and check on what they need to get rid of.

His personal blog is b2bvoices

Questions and Answers

Compliance? Their compliance officer was one of the first people they met with. Their job is to put out information, not have opinions on it. They can’t make positions on trades, for example. They act with caution, and have regular internal conversations. As exchanges rather than traders, they have a different set of regulations to deal with.

How did they find people internally, and how did they bring them into their work? They have an internal blog called Social Exchange. They have an application in to Google Glass – and they talk about that there, for example. They actively solicit feedback, and have been open about what they are doing. And most of it’s on public platforms, so the staff can see it. Keeping a small team, and keeping it centralised has made it easier, because there’s no confusion about who owns what. There’s a central e-mail address for the social team, for example. 

China? They do some in English, and they have a Chinese person on the team, and that really helped. There are enough people on the team who speak the language to provide checks and balances. Censorship? They’re not talking about human rights issues. They’re focused on financial services, which helps. Bloomberg is blocked in China, so they don’t post those stories. When they encounter blocks, they analyse the situation. Things deeper and deeper on their own website weren’t getting through, so they pushed that to their China site.

Eyeball versus Influence metrics? Some eyeball metrics – like on LinkedIn – really matter to them. It can tell them if they’re hitting the right audience. On the influence side, it’s about sitting down with the salespeople and helping them really connect. They had a dinner with a bunch of chief economists – and then asked the salespeople how many LinkedIN connections they’d made – and followed up by helping them do so. 

Closed LinkedIn groups? They want to keep small communities of the right people. They’ve done LinkUps – meetings of the group for cocktails and food. They’ve contact them with specific messages. Two or three a year, max. Very focused on good content. They encourage the sales people to connect with people’s posts via comments, etc. It’s relationship-building and keeping it small helps them do that. 

Tracking people’s roles and account security? They track access, and share it with compliance. they have password protection and management. One person on the team has the role of images and image quality. She also manages web content, and can crossover the roles. The person who runs the blog helps with the Twitter accounts. They want to create crossover without stepping on each other’s toes. Hootsweet allows them to see what each other have set up. 

Instagram? They wanted to give an insider view of the company. That’s moved to things like Twitter and definitely Facebook – but they want people to engage around the images, too. The ask questions – and the headline is so important to get people to dive in deeper. Things are posted several times to Twitter with different headlines. 

How did they get people comfortable with this? Back in 2007 he had the luxury of just doing it, and asking for permission later. People don’t have that luxury now. Their CEO was all for it. They’ve had steady growth, and they add tools as they become available, but they don’t do things for the sake of doing it. There’s a strategy and goals they want to achieve. They use constant education – and employees have to take annual disclosure exams, and social is part of that. They focus on innovating – on trying different things. Because that’s part of the corporate culture, it makes doings social easier.

Social advertising? They use Facebook and LinkedIn for social advertising. They’re a sponsor of StockTwits. They find is mostly very useful. They see huge spikes on Facebook – and they can use Google Analytics to find what’s actually happening. Organic followup from promoted posts is great. You get a spike, and it comes down – but stabilises higher than before. LinkedIn work is highly targeted – they can target 500 people they need to talk to with a  campaign, and do it inexpensively.