As more and more businesses begin to accept the fact that they can no longer avoid implementing a Social Media Component to their operations, many are left guessing or are improperly advised as to how to structure and roll out this Transformation. If you understand your industry, the task of assembling your Corporate Social Media team becomes increasingly easier(refer to chart) to build out.[Hewko]
When you and your Company decide to incorporate a Social Media Strategy for your Organization, there are a few things you should first consider and plan before you take the plunge… and “yes,” in some instances, there may be no need to build out a Social Media presence at all. These situations are few and far between and almost every business can benefit from some sort of Social Media exposure.
Do this First!
- Aligning your Corporate Goals and not your Social Media Goals = targeting the right audience and increasing the Breadth and Depth of your messaging as it relates to your business objectives and not your ego.
- Be prepared – take the time to consult with an Agency or Professional service to Plan, Structure, Create, Educate and then Deploy your Social Media efforts. There are many things to consider before you haphazardly enter the Social Media Arena and they look exactly like the “Best Practices” you would expect to see in your regular day to day operations. Governance, education (all staff), policies etc should all be seen to first if you want to roll out a professional presence.
- Trust your team – Things move very fast in Social Media and if you have taken the above steps first and are starting to see the results you have been told to expect, NOW would be a good time to scale this effort to all other areas of your business. Well chosen and trained staff will be able to not only synchronize this effort to all areas of your business but they will effectively grow your Frequency, Reach and Yield far beyond your expectations, if left to do their jobs.[Owyang]
If your Organization has the ability to assemble a Social Media team (in this case we are looking at 5 people), then the following team structures should be considered for your course of business. It is important to note that 5 people or more is an above average number for most businesses today that are compiling a Social Media team and most businesses will have to work with a much smaller number. In any case, at the core of our three industries – Businesses, Government Organizations and Non-Profits there are two common positions that should be enlisted.
- Social Strategist: This is not a job for a junior person in your organization that happens to know about Social Media. This may seem obvious but we see it all too often. This is a critical “Top Down” role for some one that is a Leader, understands business (more importantly your business) and is accountable to the goals and targets of moving your organization forward. This person must be able to communicate with your executive team(s) and relay the business objectives to the balance of the Social Media team.
- Community Manager: This person should be your strongest asset for “customer-facing” roles who understands your Brand and your Social Media Community. Often times this person will be juggling multiple tasks and has to do so balancing “customer needs” with “business needs”. A combination of soft and hard skills are required to pull this position off effectively and if your organization is successful in developing such an asset, you would be wise to train as many people on your team or in your Organization to carry out the tasks your Community Manager.[Owyang]
Now that we have taken a quick look at the two essential roles that should be at the core of your team, let’s take a look at some more specific positions you need to consider when hiring for your respective industry. And for the purpose of this article, the assumption has been made that there is already an in-house person or team to attend to you Web Development needs as most businesses today operate with some sort of web presence and internal tech to support your day to day business operations.
Businesses: Will want to have a Business Unit Liason – some one that can speak to and interact with the various departments in your company to plan, develop and carry out each of the various departments’ specific needs. This person will be responsible for making sure your Social Media plan is in line with what your company’s objectives. You will also want a Social Analyst to track and measure your Social Media efforts. It is vital to know the effect and reach your Social Media presence is having on your business. This role will allow you to know exactly what is or is not working so you can either fix or push in the appropriate areas. Lastly, you will want to consider an Agency Partner to assist you in areas you are not equipped to handle. This industry is in a constant state of flux and aligning yourself with an Agency Partner will give your company an edge over your competition. Agencies come fully equipped to deliver in all areas of your business needs and if you can find an agency that produces your desired results on time and on budget they are an invaluable component to your organization.
Non-Profits: Will want to enroll the services of a Content Strategist that will be responsible for streamlining and coordinating a uniform message and strategy across all areas of your organization. A consistent delivery of your content that has been well planned will help lead your audience through your funnel producing your desired effect of your organizations objectives. Add to this grouping a Social Media Manager who will be the driving force of your Social Media plan that is responsible implementing the projects laid out by your Content Strategist… think of the two positions as Architect and Foreman – your Social Media Manager is the Foreman that gets the project built and implemented utilizing your team members and the plan that has been created. And the same core members of the team are also essential in planning a Social Media Team for Non-Profits – Social Strategist, Community Manager and Agency Partners for the same reason previously mentioned.
Government Organizations: When we look at the graph above, the position of Education Manager is the only unique position we have not discussed. Your Education Manager’s job in your organization is to build, train, instruct the various personnel/assets within your organization to carry out your Social Media efforts. Systematically training and developing your staff to take on and participate in a meaningful way within your Social Media efforts. Please note the other overlapping members of this team from the graph above.
As the need to address Social Media Implementation grows, more and more employers will be looking for candidates that come to market with some if not most of the skills and tools discussed in the above mentioned roles and positions. In a very short period of time it is likely that the roles discussed above will be titled in a very different way as Social Media practices become a core set of skills everyone will be accustom to. I hope your organization can utilize the outline for building out your respective Social Media Team.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to use the message box below.
Hewko, G. Img. Social Media Team, Web. 21, November 2013
“Jeremiah Owyang.” Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang Social Media Web Marketing Breakdown Corporate Social Media Team Comments. Web-strategist.com, 9 Sept. 2012. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
If you want to effectively deliver your message today… you need to understand the importance of Visuals in Social Communications!
“Did you know humans process images 60,000 times faster than text? Or that people remember only 20% of what they read alone, compared to 80% which they see!”(Clementi)
Well don’t feel bad because this was news to me too and then I started to do a little more research into the matter to see just exactly what was going on.
As it turns out, we as human beings are visually wired for survival. The need to see what is happening around us served to keep us fed and to keep us alive and any one working in Social Media today knows that things really haven’t changed all that much when it comes to giving your audience what they want.
We all remember writing those epic blog posts of a thousand words or sometimes more, to then be abbreviated by our Facebook posts and shortened once more to our Tweets, now at 140 characters and still people just don’t respond nearly as well as they do to Rich Media. So let’s take a look at the importance of visuals in social communication.
- Facebook, photos are ‘Liked’ more than twice as often as text updates, and some 700 videos are shared on Twitter each and every minute.
- 700 Youtube videos are uploaded and shared every minute.
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in local search results.
- 37% increase in engagement is experienced when Facebook posts include photographs.
- Pinterest generates the 4th largest amount of web traffic worldwide.
- Engagement on Instagram is 10 times greater than on other social media platforms. (Clementi)
That fact is, “a picture is worth more than a 1000 words“. People respond, connect and retain far better when given the choice between text and visual. I would much rather watch a visually compelling documentary than have to read about the topic – for the longest time I thought I was just lazy, turns out – I’m supposed to process information better this way. What a relief. I do spend more time imagining myself with a Brand’s product and how I would use it when I see a picture or video of it. Visualizing leads me to imagining, which turns into feeling or developing an emotion towards everything that image or video had initiated.
Truth be told, I do enjoy that same process when reading a good book but we are talking about Social Media Marketing in this case and so we need to understand that delivering our message as Marketers to our audience needs to be delivered in the quickest and most effective manner that our audience is going to positively respond to. As our devices advance, our interactions with them seem to cause us to act more instinctively as opposed to cognitively. The science behind Social Media Marketing is advancing at a rapid pace and the predictability of the consumer is increasingly becoming more and more refined. Visual Communication and Rich Media taps all of us at our most instinctive core and so if you want to really move your audience, my advice to you is, “Get Visual!”
1. Clementi, Justine. “The Importance of Visual Communication.” Red PR Public Relations The Importance of Visual Communication Comments. Redpr.com.au, 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
2. Moritz, Donna Moritz. The Shift to Visual Social Media – 6 Tips for Business [Infographic]. Digital image. Socially Sorted. Http://sociallysorted.com.au, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
Are you having are hard time trying to understand how to engage people on Social Media platforms effetively?
Could using a few simple tactics to engage be a game changer for you on Social Media?
Remembering how things used to be done could just be the easiest way for all of us to excel in this digital age, especially when it comes to connecting on Social Media Platforms…
Now, I certainly was not around at the time this photo was taken but I am old enough to understand how important it was to be social, embrace my community, share equally, have manners and respect for others and treat people the way I wanted to be treated. Before this digital revolution and global community took off, people understood that word of mouth was the most effective way of spreading the word about, well… everything.
If you were a local business owner, you took pride in delivering the best service or product you could because in your city, town, village or neighborhood, one bad experience from a single customer could spread like wildfire simply by word of mouth and in no time at all you could lose your customer base to the shop across town. A sense of pride in what you represented parlayed into accountability and more importantly a mutual respect between business owner and customer… who more times than not were very much connected on a personal level to the goings on of each others lives. This is the type of relationship we should all be striving for when we aim to connect and engage on Social Media. Embrace the opportunity to have a two way conversation with your customers. Listen to what they are telling you, as in this day and age, these people are your partners and you should treat them as such.
As an individual back then, business was done on a handshake and having “Face” meant something. You couldn’t hide and were taught not to… “Say what you mean and mean what you say“, actually made you think before you spoke or acted. Consider this as “self filtering” and take the time to truly think before you post because once you have posted something to your Social Media Networks it is there for all to see, so make it count. Being helpful, respectful and timely in your communications will demonstrate to your community that you are listening and that you do care. Engage with them sincerely on a personal level and leave the Marketing Messages for your Landing Pages… If your not solving a problem, graciously accepting or giving accolades or legitimately trying to understand your customer better… save it for your website.
Find your community on the Social Media Platforms that they have decided to be on. Listen to what is being said about you, your business, your product or service first. Then respectfully join the conversation by adding value. Answer or ask questions to initiate and direct the conversation. This is your community and they want to see leadership… not a Dictatorship. And if you just aren’t sure how to proceed take a lesson from Hemingway –
I really hope that everyone that has taken the time to read this post slows down just a bit and spends some time truly being Social on which ever Social Media platform they choose… and although I spend my days on just about every Social Media Platform (online), my favorite is my front porch, around 6pm, with cold one in hand, catching up with my neighbors and saying hello to anyone that stops to pat my dog… engage – community – social – sharing – it’s all there and I don’t even need an internet signal.
ps – I want to know what your favorite Social Media Platform is, so take a minute and drop it in the comment box…. Thanks!
Are you a Social Media Marketing Professional?
Are you up to date on Kred and Klout?
If you are looking for the hard and fast on these two relatively new Social Media Marketing Influence Measurement tools, then I suggest you take a minute and strap in for a this short but highly charged Podcast on Kred and Klout.
You will get an easy to understand, no nonsense review of what each of these two platforms due, how they deliver that information to you and whether or not either of them are worth your time exploring… Let me just say this, “I certainly had one opinion going into this and have come away with a completely different view… I wonder if you will too?”
Thanks for listening and don’t forget to comment, “Like” and share – because as one of my professors likes to say, “sharing is caring!”
Ya gotta love the big “B”
Levy, Scott. “Klout Vs. Kred: Which, If Any, Is Better For Your Business?” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 04 Mar. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.
Hewko, Geoff. “Klout vs. Kred”. Img. Web. 3. Nov. 2013
27971_bcjordan_youareontheinternet. Web. 3. Nov. 2013
Shah, B. “Sharing is caring”. Web. 7 Nov. 2013
Summary of 3 Videos From HootSuite University Lectures Series:
The three videos I chose to watch from the Hootsuite University Lecture series were:
- “Be Local Everywhere – Grow Your Online Community Globally” with Dave Olson.
- “5 Decisions that Drive Customer Loyalty” with Jeanne Bliss
- “Where Context Meets Content” with Gary Vaynerchuk
Be Local Everywhere – is a great place to start when you are trying to learn and understand the importance of connecting with your potential audience on a Global scale. Here are some excellent tips to follow as you attempt to make those connections.
- Always start with listening – you want to find as many mentions of you or your company as possible – including all misspellings or other possible references
- Look for who the influencers or animators of those conversations are and connect with them by identifying who you are in relation to the conversation
- Before you ask for anything it is important to start by giving something that is helpful or is something of value that contributes to the conversation
- Always be respectful
- Geo target your audience to ensure that you are going to be relevant to them
- Be aware of the Time Zones, Cultural Differences and any other Social Differences that could affect how you and your message is perceived
Our customers are no longer anonymous today. If you take the time, you can find out everything you need to know to about your customer in order to better serve them which ultimately will better serve you and your business.
5 Decisions That Drive Customer Loyalty – teaches us or should I say “reminds us” of what it truly means to be authentic. When 22% of buyers today are influenced by traditional advertising and 78% from Social Media, this boils down to “How They Felt”. Following these 5 tips will help you and your Business deliver your message authentically and build life time customer relationships by connecting with the emotionally.
- Believe – in your customer first and they will believe in you. Start your relationship with trusting the fact that your customer is on your side as opposed to you convincing them why they should believe you.
- Clarity – we are all in business to make money but why are we in the businesses that we are in. There is a higher purpose or reason behind why we choose our particular business and when you can clearly convey this sentiment to your customer you can truly make an authentic connection.
- Real – By being real or genuine and dropping your attempts to be slick or everything to everyone you will yield your true customers. You are not going to have everyone as a customer… ever. It is better to identify who your real customers are and serve them better.
- Be there – You have to be committed to your responsibility of servicing your customers. On Social Media platforms today, it is imperative to be timely with customers trying to connect with you. You aren’t always going to be able to solve their problem on the spot but the quicker you can acknowledge their attempt to connect with you shows them that you are there and are listening.
- Saying your sorry – Truly apologize when there has been a problem. Do so with humility and remorse. People can tell when you are not sincere. Solve the problem and thank your customer for pointing out this issue.
A couple of other interesting take a ways from this lecture were to hire “memory makers” and not necessarily the most skilled or highest educated employees. People truly connect with other people and not systems or procedures. Put yourself through your company’s process first so you know exactly what your customer is seeing first hand. And finally, get rid of all the things that just don’t work anymore or that don’t make sense.
Where Context meets Content – This video lecture echoes human kinds history of communicating through storytelling and how it translates into today’s role in Social Media. We are witnessing the end of Traditional Media’s strangle hold it had on all of us in one-way conversations from advertisers to consumers. Today’s marketplace revolves around a two-way conversation between advertiser and consumer and Gary’s analogy of “the deer having shotguns” sums this point up the best. What is important to understand now is that each and every different Social Media Platform calls for a unique approach to the kinds of actions we take there. What you do and say on Facebook would not be what you would do on Linkedin for example.
Understanding how your customers use each of these platforms and adopting an appropriate delivery for your message to them on each platform is vital. The truth is that Social Media is still a relatively new medium of communication (about 10 years) but communication from one person to another has not changed. Word of mouth marketing has historically been the best way grow your business over the centuries. It is as true today with the only difference being that your reach which may have only been a neighbourhood or city just a few short years ago has now become the entire planet if you so choose.
I hope you have found these short summaries useful and are now ready to take on a new approach to interacting with your audience and communities on all the various Social Media Platforms that best suit you. Practicing these simple techniques will undoubtedly set you apart from your competition and become easier to do as you grow your Social Media Presence.
If there is something I have missed that you would like to add, please feel free to comment below.
Jeanne Bliss. 5 Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty . Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. May 2012. 28/10/2013
Gary Vaynerchuk. Where Context Meets Content. Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. November 2012. 28/10/2013
Dave Olson. Be Local Everywhere: Growing Your Online Community. Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. July 2012. 28/10/2013
With a little attention to Social Media Management you will have no problem defining your audience in Social Media.
Let’s take a look at three things a Business, Government Organization and Not for Profit should consider as they enter the world of Social Media Marketing…
Who Are They Already?
In an order to define your audience in Social Media Marketing it is necessary to first be able to identify them. Traditionally, in whatever business segment your organization falls into, you already know or have a very good idea of who your audience is and it’s demographic. This is an excellent place to start for any Organization to begin monitoring the various platforms in Social Media to know where and to understand how your target audience chooses to participate in Social Media. By calling for your audience and identifying their choice of platform you can then identify and segment the level at which each member fits into your Social Media hierarchy. Defining your overall audience also includes your community which are your strongest Relationships, Evangelists and your “who are these people” people. From there you will also have Connections, Acquaintances and Followers. In my opinion, it is necessary to spend some time working on building a connection with these last three because you never know where your next major influencer is going to come from.(Jennex)(McKinsey)
Social Media Management calls for a clearly defined Social Media Policy in an effort to keep both Company and Participant engaged effectively…
Your Social Media Policy will guide you and your Organization in accomplishing its mission. It is important to define your goals and objectives so you can lead the conversation in your Social Media Campaign. Your audience wants leadership. They have identified themselves as either “interested” in what you are doing or are already “buyers” of your ideology, product or service. Your Policy should also provide transparency, privacy and security for all of its users. And let us not forget to have measurable Analytics and Metrics to clearly identify areas that need improving or areas that are working well and need to amplified.(Macy)
Be prepared for the possibility of your audience defining or redefining you…
It is part of the implied deal you agree to when you transition from conventional marketing to electing to participate in what is to be a two way conversation (if you are listening to your audience) in Social Media Marketing. Your audience should be seen as your partner in all that you do from here on out. You and your organization can benefit in all areas of your business ranging from product development, better customer service, to what your position at the polls are or how you can make your next charity fundraiser better. If you fail to pay attention to or acknowledge your audience, you run the risk of your audience determining your fate online in Social Media… It does happen. Embrace the conversation and show your audience you are listening and do care. Remember, you need them. They will tell you what they want and if you are not prepared to give it to them they will go somewhere else to get what they need.
When Companies look to bring their presence to Social Media Platforms in an effort to keep up with today’s changing times, it is important to understand the basics we have gone through in the above Infograph. This graph is by no means a comprehensive evaluation of all of the areas that need to be addressed but it is certainly a decent place for you to start. If you have vetted your industry and qualified your intentions to be active in Social Media and are not already participating, then it is time for you join the conversation. Your customers, constituents and contributors are already there and there is a good chance your competitors are too.
The truth is, if you are in business at any level, you cannot afford to not figure out a way to be present on one Social Media Platform or another. There is probably ample reason for you to be present on several but it is for you to determine and decide which one(s) will be most effective. Set Measurable goals. Identify a core team within your organization to build from that is already active on Social Media. Enroll those people in your organization that may not be on Social Media… provide training or in some cases be prepared to be trained yourself by those you least expect. Just because it is called “Social Media”, doesn’t mean that those that participate in it have a clue as to what it means to be social.
Developing a Social Media Policy for you and your organization to follow will help to ensure continuity, good etiquette, positive and successful engagement. Not having a Social Media Policy in place may leave the flood gates open to disaster from anyone in your organization. Equally as important is a method or means to analyze your effectiveness online. There are many ways to measure your success in Social Media, so setting clearly defined targets and measuring your performance in achieving them is vital. There is always room for improvement. The trick is to know what needs to be improved upon and doing it and what is working and amplifying it.
I hope this sheds some light on bringing your organization into the arena of Social Media Marketing and if I could leave you with just one more piece of information to consider it would be this, “Social Media is simple, but not easy!” But who ever said maintaining any relationship was easy.
 MarketingSavant Group. “Digital and Social Media Marketing Planning Workbook”. N.d. Web. 13/10/13
If you don’t think understanding Network Influence is important, you may want to keep reading… It is how “we”, as human beings, have learned to survive.
Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? Well it should because it is as true now as it has ever been. For thousands of years human beings have inherently understood the importance of being linked to one another in a social capacity for the simplest of reasons… SURVIVAL!
Where did you find water? How did you make that fire? Do you know know where I can get food? Where is the enemy?
In order to answers these life and death questions, we as human beings and more importantly, social creatures, have depended on our ability to develop social networks, stay connected and help each other not only survive but thrive, establish position and create the world we have today. The risk of not being connected to a social network put you on the short list for a character appearance with Darwin in his clever little book on Evolution.
Click forward a few thousand years and Network Influence is as important today as it has ever been. Considerably more fine tuned and definitely further reaching. The telegraph, phone and fax machine gave us a further reach to expanding our networks and therefor giving us a greater ability to influence one another. Factor in Network effect and Metcalfe’s Law illustrates the value of a network based on the ability to link the number of nodes/unique connections to establish it’s value. This ability to connect grew by leaps and bounds but had its limitations. (Metclafe)
Thanks to Berners-Lee and his clever little invention of the World Wide Web, we now have group forming networks made possible by Social Media Platforms, allowing for sub-groups to develop alongside of our immediate social networks. This brings us to Reed’s Law which explodes Metcalfe’s Law exponentially. Our connect-ability has never been easier.
The matters in which we knowingly or unknowingly influence our connections is staggering. Our social circles are affected by all that we do and by all who we are connected to. We live in a time where it is possible to actually see just how far reaching the Butterfly Effect is.
“Metcalfe’s Law.” Metcalfe’s Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2013.
What is the effect on Business, Government and Not-For-Profits in the Age of Social Networking Platforms?
Not-for-Profits take the lead… “Well, they do have the easiest hand to play.”
Now that Not-for-Profits have a very cost effective way to enroll and engage with an even larger number of potential donors, their understanding of how to use social media to its fullest has given them the opportunity to play to all of our most basic emotions and capitalize on our altruistic behaviour. Simple public displays of appreciation on our favourite Social Media Platforms by Charities, to its Donors, for their efforts, feeds the Charity’s bottom line and our egos.
Pretty fair trade, don’t you think?
Charities beware, step out of line with your reporting or let Joe Public find out how much of what you raise actually gets paid to your cause and it might just be the last dollar you take.
Businesses jumping on the Social Media Band Wagon… “More may not be better.”
Yes, yes, we get it. It’s new and you think you need to be there because maybe, just maybe, you might have a potential customer there. NO! This is neither a “strategy” nor a “tactic” to follow for any business looking to try their hand at Social Media. Surely you know who your customers are, so please do some research to see what Social Media Platforms they use are and be present there. Be helpful there. Know that this is no longer a one way street, your customer, believe it or not, is now your partner and you would be wise to listen to what your partners are trying to tell you. Although you may believe that your product or service should be used by everyone, not everyone is going to be your customer. So why don’t you treat your customers that you do have, like they are the ones writing your paycheck and keeping the lights on… Oh wait, they are.
Treat your customers like the human beings they are and maybe they will see a face of a friend behind that expense corporate logo of yours… and who knows, if you’re lucky, they might tell a friend or two on that Social Network thingy, site, stuff your kids are always talking to you about.
Governments… “Not as clever as Not-for-Profits, not as Clueless as most Businesses.”
Democratization and transparency of real-time information in the hands of everyone has put Governments Worldwide on notice as they adopt and implement the use of Social Media. It is actually fascinating. Their public embrace of this new medium fuels the “wag the dog machine” at the same time lets the world see things from many different vantage points with the illusion of no filters or staging. “Reaching a tentative partnership” is putting it lightly. More like, “Oh wait, they might actually figure out they are the majority.”
As Governments try to not only catch up but get ahead of the Social Media curve, you, the average citizen, now has the responsibility of disseminating even more news, noise and nonsense than before.
Our World today is a very interesting place with all of this Social Media buzz. I hope we are all responsible with our actions on Social Media Platforms. Be helpful, inspire, educate, and treat each other like we all want to be treated. Let’s put an end to all of the behaviours that are objectionable to us. It can all start with a simple “Like”.