I enjoy hearing about companies having success with social media and I am certainly intrigued in understanding how they got there. After researching dozens of case studies (as many as I have been able to get my hands on) one theme rings through. Most of these companies have had success with little more than a tool, a concept and someone willing to figure it out through trial and error. Noble for sure, not usually very sustainable or repeatable though.
Then you hear about all the companies developing their social media strategies. This becomes the plan behind a tool, a concept and someone willing to figure it out through trial and error. Noble for sure, yet not very successful usually. Why is this? For one, the conversation usually starts with “We need a blog!”. The boss needs to be able to cover their trail, so they require a strategy to go along with it. The team creates a strategy full of love and happiness, the boss has no clue what it means and three (3) days later…violla! The blog is in place.
The point of this (yes there is a point after all), is that no where in here did anyone tie a social strategy into a business objective. You don’t hear much around “we created x number of new sales or x reduction in costs because of our social media strategy”.
Having a social policy or code of conduct for how employees should represent the company (both internally and externally) is needed. Having some thought around governance and a crisis plan is certainly good measure. However developing a social strategy that does not tie back to meeting some corporate objective is simply a waste of time. Instead, create a business strategy that includes social media to help solve a problem faster, better, cheaper (assuming that it will).
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you want to call your efforts. Call it a social media strategy, call it a business strategy or call it a Bazinga! Whatever you call it, it has to tie back to some real value to the business. To ensure that we do tie it back to the business, our host this week is B.L. Ochman. B.L. is a 2nd time moderator for us (#sm45) and is recognized for her contributions to this industry. For the chat she will cover the following topic and questions:
Topic: Creating a Social Media Strategy? Stop Wasting Your Time!
Q1: Should you create separate social media strategies or business strategies?
Q2: How do you budget for social?
Q3: Do you train staff for social or hire for it?
The chat will take place Tuesday 8/3/2010 at 12 noon eastern. Follow along by monitoring #sm71 from your favorite Twitter client or simply goto our LIVE page (www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live). The chat will begin at noon as B.L. tweets the first question and the conversation will start. Then at 12:20, the next question is asked and 12:40 the final question. The conversation is fast-paced and full of helpful insights from the people who are blazing the trails in this industry.