I wanted to share with you some interesting tips gleaned from a whitepaper by dna13 titled: “How Fortune 1000 Companies are Harnessing the Power of Social Media”. There’s some good wisdom here and I’ve added my comments below each of the take-aways to (hopefully) provide a bit more depth.
dna13 was acquired by CNW Group in 2010
dna13’s Top 7 List: Social Media Engagement Take-Aways from the Fortune 1000
1. Create an online community of brand loyalists and take their ideas into consideration (listening to the community comes up most often in polls)
- One recent survey stated that upwards of 30% of those following a brand via social media want to be called on to do or contribute something. Communities are all about contributing and while it’s normally a minority who actually do, the power of brand communities comes in large part from the feedback they offer and the ideas they generate. Don’t dictate to your online community! Involve them and seek their input!
2. Avoid advertising your company’s advertising or PR programs—instead, prove their relevancy by providing resources online
- Go deeper than just sales and marketing speak! Find out who’s using your products to enhance and enrich their lives and then help them tell that story! Your marketing material will highlight the features of your products, so take that as a starting point and share with people online how those features are being used by others to enrich to their lives. Remember, as with technology, it’s not important what a product can do, but what people do with it.
3. Make social media part of a cohesive plan; always keep your company’s goals in mind
- Social media won’t save you if you don’t have a vision, goals and a plan to get there. First determine what you want to accomplish with social media and then map out your strategy.
4. Add social media monitoring to your existing monitoring processes as an early-warning system for your company’s reputation
- A lot of the power of social media comes from its ability to get you involved in the “brand conversation”. People are talking about you and you absolutely must have your ears on and be ready to interact.
5. Create an internal messaging approach and know your FAQ’s before ever engaging in online chatter
- Make sure your staff know the plan and keep them up to date on whatever information they may need regarding policies and products. If your internal communications are lousy than your external communications will be a disaster. Just one staffer making a promise they can’t keep or giving false information can ruin your whole day. Knowledge and thus confidence are to an employee what the Force is to a Jedi.
6. Act as an advocate for the online user in future interactions with your organization, not as a brand ambassador in online conversations
- It’s not about solving your company’s problems! It’s about solving your customer’s problems! The best defence is a sincere commitment to help someone resolve an issue and then getting it done for them. Empower staff to take ownership and ensure customers are satisfied with the results. For a customer, there’s nothing better than knowing you have a champion on the “inside” working for you.
7. If possible, eliminate the need for social media content approval so you can respond more rapidly
- Ensure your staff are trained in social media effectively and make sure they are very well informed. Give them the internal access they need to get answers fast when in doubt. If you have solid social media training and policy, you won’t have to rely on gate keeping so much and you’ll avoid bottle necks. While not everyone in your organization is going to be oriented towards or have the skills for social media, most employees (especially those in a customer facing role) will have to engage someone at some point on some social channel. As Jay Baer has pointed out, there was a time when we didn’t all need to know how to type (remember the typing pool?) and yet now it’s a basic skill – social media skills will likely become just as basic and required for most us.