As I opened up my Twitter log this morning to check out the
latest tweets, I was blitzed with an overwhelming amount of social media
messaging. It seems like everyone nowadays is a social media expert. Do this. Do that.
Dont do this. Dont do that. Say this. Say that. Etc
Do these people seriously sit around all day and tweet and retweet everyone elses
information and call themselves experts? Its no wonder why there is such confusion
and negativity in the workplace when the topic of social media arises. While there is
no doubt that the world is in the midst of a social media revolution, the reality is that
social media is a basic, simplistic concept but you have to, like anything else, have
a plan for it. If your organization has already made the plunge or if you are
thinking about joining the vast and crazy world called the social media universe
its of utmost importance that you have a detailed strategy in place.
Currently, I am helping put together the pieces of multiple social media experiments
gone bad. Companies come to me on a regular basis with problems such as having built a
fancy Facebook page with no game plan or jumping head first into Twitter not knowing
what to tweet, only with the intention that it will be cool and that everyone else is
doing it. The problem: they built it and no one came.
Not only did no one come, no one in these companies has said anything on their
respective pages: not a tweet, not a like, not even an update. The pages simply sit
there occupying space.
Solution: Have a well-thought-out and detailed plan to encompass what types of
social media the organization will use, how you will build your strategy, who will use
the platforms, what you will say, who will be allowed to say it, and how youll know
its working. We recommend four steps to help organizations analyze and understand social
media, make a plan to leverage it, implement the plan, and monitor it to ensure its
Step 1 Analyze and Understand the SocialMedia Space
Social media discussions shouldnt start off with we need to be on social media.
Understand why you want to be on social media to ensure youre making a strategic
move and not a trendy one. There are multiple platforms all with different
categories of users and uses.
Step 2 How/where to build your strategy
Know what you are trying to accomplish and which platforms will work best for your
strategy and goals: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc. Also, have a social
media strategy in place. Instead of banning social media in the workplace, encourage and
help your organization create a social media policy. When you are setting up your social
media policy, give employees ideas of what to do vs. what not to do.
Step 3 Engage
Once you have your plan in place, start moving forward. Involve top employees as
brand ambassadors and have them influence what is being said. Be authentic and
transparent about what is said and very important make social networking a
lifestyle rather than a distraction.
Step 4 Monitor and continuously update your strategy
Develop a team to monitor and control the platform. Ensure your sites are updated on a
daily basis with relevant content and interaction with followers to engage them.
There is an abundance of social media success stories out there from recruiting,
to sales, to business-building. You name it and someone or some organization has found
the value in social media and benefited from it. You can be successful as well, but you
will just need to have a defined roadmap first in order to achieve the end results
that you desire.