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Did Social Media Hijack My Communications Strategy

Did Social Media Hijack My Communications Strategy



This presentation focuses on the challenges facing communications teams and chart viable strategies for creating an effective presence in the Web 2.0 world—punctuated by valuable lessons learned ...

This presentation focuses on the challenges facing communications teams and chart viable strategies for creating an effective presence in the Web 2.0 world—punctuated by valuable lessons learned from our biggest failures. The discussion will be relevant to businesses that need to gain footing and find a path to maintain relevance in the social web.



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  • The Association of Former Students at Texas A&M can show that social media did not kill your communication and engagement opportunities, but instead has given you an opening to interact with (and even grow!) your target audience. This will bring to light the conundrum facing communications teams and chart viable strategies for creating an effective presence in the Web 2.0 world (...with help from our biggest failures). Clearly the discussion of these issues and the development of strategic, sound solutions are essential for survival. These solutions are applicable to businesses that need to gain their footing and find a path to maintain relevancy in this new climate.
  • If web strategy were an outfit, social media would be the hat. Surviving in a post Facebook-world means having a strategy, and a strategy isn’t 100% dependent on social media. Social media plays a very important role, but don’t forget about your other tools!
  • Many organizations are in a state of flux (or panic) trying to figure out how they fit into the social media landscape. The “broadcast only” communications model has been turned upside down by social media. Have Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites made your communications irrelevant, stale, or just archaic? Have they removed you from the communications equation? Fear not – social media is actually good news.
  • Going back a few years, we, like many others, attempted to create our own walled-garden social networking site. This initiative cost significant amounts of time, money, effort and ultimately created a stand-alone, and dare we say “exclusive,” social network. We convinced ourselves that our constituents wanted controlled access and interaction. Right! Right? Wrong. For the most part, the project was more of a burden than anything that fostered interaction. Note the Mashable article 10 Ways Universities Are Engaging Alumni Using Social Media (http://mashable.com/2009/07/23/alumni-social-media/) – way Number 5 was our valiant attempt (we filled that need of a “here’s what not to do” example). Many, many months of planning, countless man-hours attempting to generate (force) the fervor and—the worst part – creating relevant, provocative, and engaging content. We were exceedingly reluctant and stubborn about acknowledging the dropping participation numbers (which was the exact opposite trend of our Facebook numbers – they were growing although, in comparison, we were not expending near as much effort). Although we moved away from this strategy, we did not abandon social engagement on our site.
  • Once we found our customers and entered their world, we immediately saw results in participation and dialogue. I was also very excited to find the our LARGEST brand presence was a LinkedIn… and it wasn’t even started by our organization. Brand evangelizers can be a very powerful force – a side-benefit of social media!
  • Find out where your people are before you jump into any network!
  • There are many ways in which you can be relevant, interesting, inspirational, fun make money in the social media realm. In most cases, this involves a fundamental shift in how we engage our constituents. Although there is still a place for broadcast communications, this section will cover the importance of entering world (blogs, social networks, video/photo sharing) and becoming a part of the dialog (and this really is communicating BOTH directions), without the impetus to control it. The notion of giving up control is probably the most difficult hurdle that creates heartache and discomfort for marketers and communicators, BUT it is a reality and a requirement they must accept in order to maintain any relevancy. Don’t accept that the biggest social network is automatically your solution. It depends on your business, your customers, and your goals for social media.
  • No matter how legitimate your emails are, if you look like spam, you aren’t getting to the inbox. Email is a much trickier game than it used to be. This is one case where big numbers only mean something if they are legit numbers. Anyone can buy an email list, but that won’t deliver results and may just get you blacklisted.Source: ReturnPath, a great resource for email-related research.
  • http://gigaom.com/2010/04/12/mary-meeker-mobile-internet-will-soon-overtake-fixed-internet/If you don’t have a mobile presence, you may be setting yourself to be at a disadvantage (and it’s only going to get worse in the coming years!).
  • It’s easier than you think to get started with your mobile presence.
  • Strategy first, tools later!
  • Don’t go searching for the social media silver bullet, because it doesn’t exist. Your awareness of best and worst practices will get you on the best footing, but moving forward, you need to be able to adapt. Metrics are your friend and can help guide your strategy.
  • In both cases, the companies addressed the issue at hand… but the results were very different. Here’s a link with some interesting Twitter case studies - http://jeffbullas.com/2010/01/20/how-to-use-twitter-for-business-5-more-incredibly-interesting-case-studies/
  • I like the way Dell branded their site-based community. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
  • This is a prototype / futureversion of our site that my team is working on. Even though a full-blown social network wasn’t a success for us, we still identified a need for social aspects on our websites that couldn’t be filled by the major social networks. We have focused content which can be re-aggregated based on our constituents’ interest; it is shareable both to websites and the social networks where they spend most of their time. We also had a need to be able to connect people regardless of their participation on other social networks. Now when we asked ourselves “What are we providing them that they can’t get somewhere else,” we have a clear answer. With our walled-garden social network, we didn’t. Even if you can’t identify a need for an integrated social solution on your website, you still need to make your content easily shareable. Shareable content is a great way to increase your brand’s presence and drive traffic back to your site.
  • Point #3 is one of the hardest sells you will have to your leadership.

Did Social Media Hijack My Communications Strategy Did Social Media Hijack My Communications Strategy Presentation Transcript