OMG! We Need to Do Social Media!

Jaimee Clements, online production manager of eBusiness and AAA, gave a quick and candid half-hour talk on social media implementation. What she said is a primer for good execution; here it is.

Tips for If You Haven't Dived In Yet

Start small. Try Twitter first; it's easy to manage and understand.

Listen and take action on what users already want from you.

Be clear on objective and goals. If you know what your goal is, you have something to measure, and you can engage selectively, as opposed to in a way that spreads the net wide but wastes energy.

Meet with legal & HR early and often. Otherwise, if you surprise them all of a sudden with a crisis, they'll probably take forever. Damage gets done when you can't respond in real-time.

How dedicated do you want to be? A yardstick:
Low: minimal engagement.
Dedicated tools: Passive. Needs no monitoring once tool is provided to users. Structured user input, no content created.
Moderate: intermittent engagement.
Dedicated tools: Part-time. Weekly moderation, user submitted content/media must be reviewed before publishing.
High: daily engagement.
Dedicated resources: frequent posts, real-time responses, full-time community management.

Once You're In: Objectives

  1. Listen daily
  2. Identify your top brand advocates
  3. Engage them where they are, and in their language. Don't go storming into a chatroom at a socnet, where you haven't introduced yourself, and be like, "I'm great! By AAA." You'll get spanked.
  4. Work the feedback loop. Make sure the data you glean goes back to your customer support team or whomever the most relevant department is. Don't shove undistilled social media reports onto everybody; feed the feedback loop appropriately, so it can actually make a difference in your product line and the brand experience.
  5. Make it interactive; provide viral incentives. Bear in mind you can't make a viral campaign; it involves a lot of luck, good planning and good community rapport.
  6. Prepare for the unexpected. If a firestorm happens, make sure there's a real-time escalation pattern, with people already identified to manage it. (Handy Pulp Fiction reference: identify THE WOLF.) "Make sure you have that path identified [beforehand]," because whatever your response, you need to respond in real-time.
  7. Always be willing to adapt.

Best Practices

  • Be human, transparent
  • Be unique, interesting; add value.
  • Don't try controlling the convo.
  • Be thankful! Recognize people helpin' you out, say nice things.
  • Don't be too salesy. It's hard to be friends with that "always-on" personality.
  • Understand/define success metrics.
  • Don't forget social media is public media
  • Don't be afraid to have fun!

Useful Tools

  • Radian6, for tracking.
  • Spigit, for goal-based internal collaboration.
  • Yammer, which is essentially a Twitter just for members of your company. This is great for maintaining morale and keeping people feeling connected, however far-flung other team members may be.
And remember: To do the social media thing right, it takes a lot of time. You have to get to know your community to learn what to pull out, how best to talk to them. Don't underestimate the amount of time developing that intuition will take.

Angela Natividad

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