Thursday, October 18, 2012

2 things you must do for a successful Social Media Strategy

I spoke at an event yesterday for the Rochester Chapter of the American Marketing Association at One Restaurant and Nightclub.  They had tables and chairs set up on the dance floor which I thought was a great metaphor for the type of event being held.  You see it was sort of a speed dating meets networking meets free consulting type of deal where there was an expert at each table talking about some specific aspect of the online/digital landscape.  I felt like I was dancing and everyone was watching, except my feet were still and it was my words that moved(and no one moved away from me while staring at me awkwardly).

I had a table and my topic was Social Networking Strategy.  This phrase alone evokes fear and loathing in many executives mind because its probably the one thing they always point back to when denouncing Social Media as a "waste of time."  Usually most social media channels get abandoned because there was never a larger picture painted to let the entire organization know that if you want to be social, things will need to change around here.  They call it a lack of strategy.  I call it a lack of understanding.

Overall most of the advice I ended up giving was focused around two things:

  • Integration: Don't treat social media channels as a separate project.  They are the same as the discussions you have around what trade shows to attend, what ads to put in what magazines, etc.  Every time there is a meeting about how your company is engaging with its customers/prospects, social media is involved.

    If you put social media over there in its own box and don't connect it to anything else significant in your organization then it will simply fail.  If you are currently "on your own" in your company and doing social media, what do you hope to accomplish?  Is it really a part of the culture of the company or is it the round peg being shoved into the square hole?
  • Know your audience needs: who are you talking with and what do they want?  Figure out those two answers and build content to support it.
Did you attend the event?  What would you have asked if you did?
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