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Strategy and Planning
Building the community
Determine where you are today
Level 0: Near-zero use of social media
Level 1: Passive integration
Level 2: Limited integration, some commitment
Level 3: Committed to strategy, integration,
• Level 4: Full turnaround, seamless integration
No social media strategy, planning, training
• Management sees social media as time-wasting,
unproductive and not aligned to business goals.
• All employees are banned from use of social media
during office hours.
• Employees steal time to view social media feeds via
smartphones or “illegal” access on office PCs.
• All communication still relying on traditional means.
• Rivals start implementing social media tactics and
start showing results.
Level 1: 90 degrees
• Management allowed access to social media but still
views social media with suspicion or as a passing
fad. Does not see integration as important to
• Employees are allowed to implement social media
tactics on their own, with little or no management
support or direction.
• A marketing or communications exec may
collaborate with an ad agency or outside consultant
on a single project.
• An occasional deal struck whereby social media
elements are introduced in an important event or
activity – product launch, promo or contest.
Level 2: 180 degrees
Limited commitment, some integration
• Management curious about benefits and integration
process, but still without a defined strategy,
budget, timetable and training process
• Employees experiment with social media, some
training available, social media policy adopted
• A social media lead may be appointed at junior level
in some departments
• Communication and marketing teams see clear
benefits and integrates social media in planning but
still working in silos
• Social media integration starting to be planned in
advance rather than as an afterthought
Level 3: 270 degrees
Commitment to social media
strategy, integration and training
• Social media integration under implementation.
• Appointment of social business-savvy director at board
level. Management team have budgetary and
managerial power for social media integration, and
a social media lead for the integration process.
• Full commitment to ongoing training required for
social media integration in production, management,
communication, marketing, sales, human resources
• Social media strategy rolled out through crossfunctional, multi-department teams.
Level 4: 360 degrees
Full turnaround, seamless integration
• Employees and management not learning about
social media, they are living it. No distinction
among new or old staff in social media-savviness.
• Company transformed into a “social business
• Processes in place where social media is a primary
source of revenue-generation.
• Management decisions flow from a social media
perspective, all business processes are fully
integrated with social media platforms and channels.
• All internal and external communication is rich with
community elements; constant feedback loop;
transparent and accountable processes in place.
Social media: strategic planning
1.Objectives = the broad goals and the
measurable steps to achieve them
2.Identify key target audiences, platforms
3.Tactics = the activities, apps, tools,
channels you will use, including offline
4.Resources: internal, external
6.Metrics, KPIs, success criteria
1a. Objectives: Examples
• Improve internal
• Improve external
• Connect and engage
with present customers
where they are.
• Increase customers,
generate leads, drive
• Reach and educate
• Build awareness of
products and services.
• Humanize brand,
• Establish thought
subject matter expert,
1b. Objectives: Specifics
Example: Improve external
communications with the media
– Challenges: Media lacks information
about our products and services, technical
expertise to cover event
– Execution: Set up a closed group to reach
specific reporters to connect informally,
educate and inform them about new
products and services that may result in
stories in media
2. Identify key audiences, platforms
• Objective: Connect and engage with
present customers where they are.
– Challenge: Unaware of which social networks
customers are using and what they are saying
Run a survey of present customer base
Listen and monitor conversations
Follow product ‘keywords’
Determine content shared in which platforms
Identify critics, rivals
Identify gaps in which you can add value
Source: Open Leadership, Charlene Li
Advocacy: Help the fanbase
Fanboy/girls: People who
help promote your brand or
product or service online
because they like it.
“Help them help you.”
Ideas: Blogger/Facebook fan outreach
programme. Provide content they can use,
link, share, mashup, send to others.Eg:
videos, widgets, free fun apps, games,
prizes for their readers.
3. Tactics and methods
• Choose platform: Blogging, Facebook,
• Apps or tools: Free or custom-built
• What activities?
– Contests, conferences, events, concerts
themed monthly features, video uploads,
• Offline activities:
– Outreach programmes, tweetups,
exclusive giveaways for loyal customers,
3. Tactics: Examples
Gauge social media talent:
For employees and interns
Better communication, support
employees, partners, suppliers
upload profiles, start a group
Improve knowledge database
– open to employees,
partners, customers, students
Showcasing new products,
Engagement with advocates
services, launches, events
awareness, media relations
CEO’s speeches, talks
Promote CEO thought 15
leadership, start conversations
4. Resources: Internal, external
• What can the company handle?
• What resources can we dedicate in
terms of people, tech, etc?
• Accept that staff, customers may be
critical or negative.
• If the company’s culture is top-down,
command-and-control, you need to
break mold by seeking third-party
• Third-party may not have share
authentic voice of company
Internal resources: The rollout
• Fail fast: People will appreciate transparency. Don’t fear
failures - first time you cock up, try again.
• Lobby: Personal motivations matter: eg: if there’s someone
wanting a promotion approach them individually. Get them
on board and to champion project early so they can claim
benefit later on. It’s all lobbying skills.
• Champion: Champions come from all depts. Age is not an
issue. Just because someone is young doesn’t mean he/her
is innately ‘digital.’
• Skeptics: Get some pessimists and skeptics
on board. Give them the tools, learn from
4. Resources: scenarios
Scenario 1: Corporate-wide awareness
training: Drum up support for social media, identify
talent, bring in trainers, speakers.
Scenario 2: SWAT team: Get a small
team sneakily doing something and rack up
some small wins. (This method can backfire
though. Eg: A page that attracts attacks.)
Scenario 3: Start small with a few
external committed bloggers, social
networkers and tweeters and roll out
wider if necessary.
NOTE: Document successes and failures
and lessons from above.
6. Metrics, KPIs, success criteria
• You cannot improve what you don’t
• Quantitative and qualitive metrics
• Set up monitoring tools to measure
downloads, views, followers, likes,
• Don’t be afraid to set high numbers,
ambitious goals to grow community
• Constantly challenge the team
On management buy-in
ROI: There is no silver bullet to building a
• The 1st question is often ‘How can this make money?’ but it
should be ‘How can we help our customers?’
• Evaluate the cost to achieve the same by traditional means
ie: print advertising, marketing, support and IT dept costs.
• Justification: “If we don’t, our competitors will take market
• Financial Dept: Give them the numbers.
• HR: Talk about staff retention.
• IT: Talk about leverage to buy new toys.
• Legal: Aim of legal dept is to reduce risk to zero.
Businesses work by taking and managing risks.
• Executive buy-in will expedite the financial, legal, HR teams
getting on board.
Social media policy: example
• Use common sense (don’t piss off
• Do not post entries that are
personal attacks or culturally
sensitive or religiously offensive
• Do not discuss unreleased
products and features
• Post a standard company
disclaimer on your blog, profile
page and disclose affiliation to
company or specific projects
• If you post all or parts of an
internal email, conceal the names
of the sender and recipients
• When expressing an opinion,
emphasize that you speak only for
yourself, beginning a sentence
• If you doubt the appropriateness
of a post, ask a peer what they
think and then read it again the
next day as if it were headline in a
• Do not post too much noise (ie:
inane accounts of your boredom
• Respect the platform, be an adult
• Keep it friendly, and have fun
• Be wary of copyright issues
Dealing with the trolls
Source: Forrester Research
Signs that your social media strategy is
working…on their blogs
They have interesting things to say about your CEO, your
company, products, services and your industry
They share and link regularly to interesting ideas, stories and
posts from your official accounts
They provide glimpses into how you are humanizing your
brand for them
They do not bad-mouth your company or staff (caveat: unless
there is a lesson worth learning)
They seem genuine and honest in their
opinions of your company and its products
Adapted from Boris Epstein, CEO and Founder
Signs that your social media
strategy is working…on Twitter
You often find positive tweets about your
Your replies are viewed positively and seem
genuine and authentic
Your official account is growing steadily and as
a diverse set of followers
You keep a healthy balance between personal
and professional tweets
You engage in discussions related to
your business and seem to be an
authority in your field
Signs your community is working…on
Community is responding well to your regular
updates with increased Shares and Likes
Users sign up on your Events fast
Users leave comments and show genuine
interest in wanting to engage with brand and
Staff on Facebook are enthused and constantly
finding new content to keep conversations fresh.
Fans find updates relevant to their profession
Signs that your social media
strategy is working…on LinkedIn
Users in your group have complete profiles
They make genuine recommendations
about peers, managers and colleagues
They voluntarily answer questions
They are linking to their employer, blog and
other projects of interest.
They are participating and getting involved
discussion in the community.
Signs of success… on Google
When company or brand is Googled:
1. Leads me to company blog, webpage, microsites, staff or
company social media pages or other owned media
2. Leads to news stories, active discussions and commentary
on social media sites on issues related to company
3. Does not lead to something controversial or negative,
(unless a lesson to be learnt)
When staff are individually Googled:
1. Doesn’t come up blank.
2. Leads me to their online blog, webpage or social media
profiles and company is identified.