Writing Your Social Media Strategy

Writing Your Social Media Strategy is the tenth in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

Social Computing Strategy

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Writing Your Social Media Strategy

Work with your organization to identify and implement your organization-wide social media strategy and associated im­plementation plans. The following are the main social media areas that will require development and implementation.

Determine Important Points

Develop a set of talking points that will be used to engage potential evangelists and supporters using social media. The points may change over time, as you learn more about your community.

The talking points should emphasize the special qualities of your business’s services and foster a personal relationship with your brand. They should sound natural if delivered by an average person and should appeal to the emotional connection that your best customers feel with your enterprise’s products or services. However, the message needs to be customized by audience as much as possible, so you may need to develop several groups of talking points.

Identify Influencers

All people using social media are not equal in their ability to influence others. Identify those who are already talking about and recommending your products or services, especially those with a significant online and social media presence. You may, for example, start with your organization’s customer support people and concentrate on those who actively work with your clients.

Create talking points for these influencers and think of other ways to enable them to help spread the word. The message will spread better if it is more easily found, and influencers can help your business’s messages and products place higher in search engine results as well.

The goal is to quickly develop a number of evangelists, those who feel passionate about your products and your business and who will, with a little support, happily pass on inform­ation and help to convert others.

Create a Brand for the Social Media Effort

A good online movement needs a name. The name should be short, catchy, and communicate the goals of the effort. Build­ing on the research efforts above, create the name and then use it to brand all campaign efforts. Your organization’s site and partner Websites must help support the branding, and prom­inent­ly feature selected user-generated content (UGC) in support of the campaign.

A great example of this was Yum! Brands’ Crash the Super Bowl campaign[8] which encouraged people to submit ideas for Doritos commercials to run during Super Bowl XLV. Some of the user-generated ads were celebrated as the best presented during the entire broadcast.

Now this was a glitzy, highly costly campaign — especially con­sidering the $1 million price tag for an advertising slot. But your enterprise might do a similar campaign, for far less money, to encourage your supporters to offer you ideas for your YouTube channel. This type of approach is called crowd­sourcing, and we talk about it later in this book.

Establish a More-Effective and Coordinated Social Media Presence

The best way to get into social media is to start to participate (after creating a strategy and first listening for a while, of course!)

The best way to participate is to engage people one-on-one through active listening, rather than pushing advertising messages at them.

This strategy involves building on any existing enterprise social media assets such as customer stories and testimonials, YouTube videos, Twitter accounts and other sites. Create presences on popular social networking sites as well as engag­ing with those who are already using social media to discuss your products and your business.

All these efforts should be coordinated, and revolve around the talking points. Consider creating a branded social net­working site that enables user-generated content, either stand­alone or as part of your organization’s site. You should recognize, however, that this is a substantial undertaking. We talk about architecting your own community in the section Building Your Community.

Capitalize on Existing Relationships

Ensure that all stakeholders whom the enterprise touches reg­ularly — your organization’s sales and marketing folks as well as customer service and product management — are kept up-to-date via social media and other means.

This means leveraging any existing Internet assets such as email lists as well as other established marketing and public relations partners and also encouraging stakeholders to reach out to those they can influence.

Leverage Traditional Media Resources

Fold the social media campaign in with traditional marketing efforts such as press releases and other media contacts. Ensure that the campaign’s brand is extended into traditional media. And remember: Don’t stop doing anything you’re already doing just because you’re now doing social media. Ensure that all your efforts reinforce one another.

Enable Direct Supporter Actions

Provide media assets such as videos, screensavers, and special badges[9] to evangelists and other supporters. This concept extends to all forms of user-generated content, including blogs/posts, audio, and especially email.

Up next: Create a Mobile Social Computing Strategy

[1] Just one example of the many articles and studies that support this: SocialTimes’ How to Connect With Your Employees Using Social Media, Email and Some Common Sensebit.ly/9o1vnP

[2] Fournaise Marketing Group, bit.ly/bAkvPe bit.ly/dmwcg9

[3] Exist.com: bit.ly/kj6p4l

[4] Produced by iPressroom, a hosted content management software platform, with support from the Public Relations Society of America: bit.ly/djp0cw

[5] Foremski’s Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! bit.ly/nwPtwB

[6] MultiVu – SHIFT Communications Debuts First-Ever Template for “Social Media Press Release”prn.to/pE7XNd

[7] Some Social Search Optimization resources: slidesha.re/dTdBDMslidesha.re/dQ68z3 slidesha.re/igunmG

[8] Crash the Superbowl: bit.ly/hAlYld

[9] See the definition of badges on page 20

[10] Source: Facebook on.fb.me/biGYNr

[11] Source: Facebook bit.ly/9fE4qn

[12] Facebook Mobile: on.fb.me/bpiCmQ

[13] Ground Truth is a mobile computing research firm: bit.ly/caaE65

[14] Ruder Finn is a public relations firm: bit.ly/djlLb8

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