Monthly Archives: September 2012

4 things I learned during my first year of implementing a Social Media Strategy (Part 3)

3)   You need an executive champion

Any new initiative needs executive support otherwise it is doomed to never get off the ground. My team began to make small wins, but I neglected to engage our C level folks. Bad move. It wasn’t until our new managing director joined our company that he began to ask questions about our social media channels. Interest is always a good indication as it leads to the ability to share your plans in a open forum. Working with the managing director helped me understand what the C suite wanted. Did he care about how many followers we had? Interesting fact to me, but not to him. He did want to hear how we help customers via social media and increased engagement with our client and prospective audience. By sharing mini case studies with the team based on different internal and external wins, I was able to leverage our wins in terms of what C level executives care about: minimizing risk to the organization, increasing our awareness (which leads to more people know about our company and potentially buying our service, aka revenue), and  sharing our client success stories that peaked our trades interest.

I learned rather quickly my executives didn’t care about how many followers we had, but did care that we were able to resolve customer services issues quickly. Example? Recently at our user group meeting we were experience wifi issues and our attendees began to post on Twitter how slow the wifi was. Since we monitor the feeds, I saw this issue and was able to connect to our events team and solve the issue. Big deal you say? I was able to resolve the wifi issues within 3 mins. 3 mins sounds impossible, right? Not really. Once I say the feed and let people know that we were aware of the issue and were taking care of it, people responded with” thank you(s)” and “awesome(s).” Mitigating risk will always get the c suite attention.

When I presented to our chief executive officer on our strategy, he supported it not because that’s what our other competitors were doing because I sold him on the ability that we could mitigate risk. He saw the value that using social media from that point forward. Also, I was able to get some of our executives to perform in a variety of social media activities from participating in tweet chats to setting up Twitter accounts and actively engaging with our market.

Four Nuggets I Learned Developing a Global Social Media Strategy (Part 2)

2)   Everyone else is an expert

There is a difference between using social media and making it work for your organization. In not about tweeting or posting, it is about building a plan that includes both strategy and tactic. Most folks I talk to would rather get into the weeds and talk about tactics such as, “ I think we should post six times a day” rather than “our goal in using social media is …, we will achieve our goals by implementing X, Y, and Z.” Two different approaches that will yield different results.

Being an expert isn’t about tweeting or posting on Facebook, it is about knowing how and when to implement. There’s a difference in any social media presence when someone behind the team is a strategist versus practitioner. A strategist asks “why” before evening putting anything out in the socialsphere, the tactical marketer puts it out there and see’s what sticks.

Ultimately it comes down to do you know why your doing social media.  To put this in perspective, I default to my token phrase, “ Just because my 16 year old niece is on Facebook, doesn’t make her an expert at Facebook.”

Part 1:4 things I learned during my first year of implementing a Global Social Media Strategy (Part 1)

1)   Change is Hard

I had overlooked the fact that many of my constituents had been running their “social media strategy” organically. The fact that someone else was coming into their territory and changing their business practices was not received well. In fact, many of them question my strategy, even though our divisions had never written a plan or given much thought as to why they were using social media. Other than other companies are on insert social channel and we should be too. Yay for differentiating.

Change is hard and no one raises her hand and say, “ yes, I like to lead a project in which no one is interested in. Sign me up for that!” Instead of giving up, I used the first 6 months to getting our corporate channels in running order. It was lesser of the two evils as I was able to make immediate changes. I evaluated what channels we used based on what allowed us to be successful in terms of our goals: engagement and brand awareness not what was the new shiny object. We increased brand mentions, followership and influenced in 6 months by double digits. This increase began to intrigue our internal folks. By building our credibility, I was able to leverage this into working with our stakeholders on their channels.

My organization at the beginning of our social media experiment had more than 45 channels and growing. I evaluated social media channels on simple measurements: 1) are we actively using this 2) do people react or post comments 3) is it worth our time?

Using this logical approach, we began to shed social media channels in which we 1) were not active  or 2) no one was actively engaging. Now, in the beginning, I receive a lot of resistance on delete accounts that were not active. My rationale was simple: If no one has posted any content in a year or years, do you really think people are still actively looking for what you post or say? Most people couldn’t answer yes.