By Barton Goldenberg
In this blog post, I will describe the first stage of my proven three-stage process in designing a Social Media strategy for creating successful Social Media communities: “Contemplate”.
The key steps within the Contemplate stage are:
- Assess current situation.
- Understand the community’s linkage to the overall business strategy.
- Define the audience.
- Determine the organization’s Social Media goals.
- Define/review the organization’s Social Media policies.
- Leverage organizational resources, such as subject matter experts.
The order of these steps is important. For example, the audience (Step 3) must be defined before the organization can determine Social Media goals (Step 4).
- Assess the Current Situation
In assessing the current situation, management must consider the answers to key questions such as:
- What Social Media efforts have taken place to date?
- Who is the executive sponsor?
- What are the business drivers behind the Social Media community?
- Understand the Community’s Linkage to the Overall Business Strategy
The organization next needs to determine how the community will support the overall business strategy. The tighter the link between the Social Media community and the business strategy, the more likely the organizational staff will support the Social Media strategy and communities.
- Define the Audience
It is important for the organization to determine which constituencies are most appropriate for the Social Media strategy and communities. The organization will want to perform technographic profiles for the selected audience. The primary objective is to determine how best to court these individuals to visit the Social Media community. The other key objective is to leverage technographic profile knowledge to create a successful community.
- Determine the Key Social Media Goals
Determining the key Social Media goals answers the question: “What is to be accomplished with the audience of the Social Media community?” Here are the Social Media goals that an organization can expect from creating a Social Media community:
- Increased collaboration
- Increased customer engagement, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy
- Increased revenue
- Decreased costs
- Define and Review the Social Media Policies
Formulated Social Media policies will be primarily used by the organization to protect its own interests. These policies will also promote its Social Media community goals. Additionally, these policies will enhance usage of the Social Media community by its members.
- Leverage Organizational Resources
The organization must next decide: “What resources does the organization have that can be leveraged for the Social Media strategy?” For an external Social Media community, organizational resources typically include subject matter experts that share insight.
In my next post, I will discuss the next stage of my recommended three-stage process for designing a successful Social Media strategy: “Navigate”.
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Barton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.