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.
What is the difference between “Strategy” and “Tactics”?
Get this wrong and you leave the door wide open for your competition… So let’s get it right!
By simple definition, a Strategy is “an overall plan of action designed to achieve a goal or objective.” (Blanchard 15)
Tactics are “the means by which a Strategy is to be carried out.” (Blanchard 15)
Sounds simple but make no mistake about it, many get this wrong and you don’t want to be one of them.
Here are five traits for each to keep you on point.
- Strategy is the “Planning”, and Tactics are the “Doing”.
- Strategy is the “Big Picture”, and Tactics are the “day to day activities carried out.”
- Your Strategy has everything to do with “Why” you do things the way you do them and Tactics are the “How” you do those things.
- Strategy will be difficult for your competitors to copy while tactics are easily identified and copied.
- A good strategy will show its best results over time. You may have to tweak or tune it from time to time to dial it in but a good strategy is best left to mature and yield its maximum potential. Your tactics on the other hand are to be kept a close eye on and if necessary, deleted or added to, as need be. Tactics are meant to be nimble adjustments made in order to bring you in line with your overall strategy. (Jason Wulf)
If you are playing a game of tactics without a strategy in your business, please know that this is race to the bottom. A race you surely do not want to win. Take the time to really think of what it is you do, why you do it and who you do it for and develop your strategy around those identifiers as to how you are going to proceed. Then, decide on the most effective ways that you and your company can consistently deliver those ideas to your audience, in a complimenting manner to your strategy and you will have identifiable tactics to monitor.
People and businesses do not plan to fail but fail to plan. A strategy with complimenting tactics will inevitably lead you down the road to victory. Be patient, be diligent and be aware of all that is taking place and if you find yourself struggling please feel free to read points 1 -5 again or as many times as you need to until you have reached your desired level of success.
Blanchard, Oliver. Social Media ROI. Boston: Pearson Education, 2012. Print
The World of Jason Wulf. Wordpress, 22/07/09. Blog post. 25/09/13
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”.