Social Media’s Essential Elements

I am still taking the Instant E-Learning social media for business classes on line, and last week one of the webinars we all listened in on revolved around the seven essential elements to a successful social media strategy.  You can follow Christopher Barger, who shared these elements with our class, on Twitter, @cbarger, and expect to learn a lot more from him.  As I stated in an earlier post, I want to share what I learn with you so that even though you may not be able to pay to take these social media for business webinars you will still learn something through me and my notes.

So here goes.  The top 7 essential elements to a successful social media strategy are:

1. You need an executive champion: this person has credible authority, can moderate disputes, can sell the importance of social media up the corporate ladder, can liason between the social media and overall strategy, can provide or raise a budget and has a strong relationship with the social media evangelist.

2. You need clear lines of authority: social media should not be executed independently from any other strategy, you must be in constant contact and collaborate regularly with all involved parties, don’t get stuck in a “box checking” mentality and not think of new/effective things that can help your overall marketing strategy.

3. The social media evangelist: this person is not just a “social media rock star,” this person should be more than just a community manager and instead be a strategist with a business focus.

4. Metrics and measurements are a must! However, success must be defined and you need to decide what results you want to see before you even begin.  Have a “point of zero” from which to start.  Not all tools will fit in your toolbox, select the measurement tools that apply to your goals and your business.
Great stats:
* Up to 47% of Twitter accounts are abandoned
* 57% of Facebook users hide brand content in their news feeds. (stats from eMarketer via Chris Barger’s presentation for instant etraining)

5. You must have some kind of partnership with legal: At the end of the day, your goals are similar, to have the company’s best interests in mind.  Sometimes it must be realized that the “right thing” in social media doesn’t always line up with the best interests of the company, i.e. posting during a crisis or sensitive time.  Find someone in legal who is interested in social media and groom this interested party to become a social media expert.  This will help you explain certain situations to someone who actually understands.

6. You need a solid social media policy!  It protects the organization and its employees.  You should make sure that all functions of a business that affect or are affected by social media adhere to the policy.  The policy will be easier follow if it is line with business guidelines.  Keep in mind that a usage guide and an overall policy are not the same thing.  You can “use” social media at your digression, if it is for corporate purposes, but even when you do you have to do so according to policy and not share confidential information.

7.  Educate! There are three tiers of employees you need to educate on social media.  There are those in tier one who need just the basics, such as an etiquette guide, resources for learning, and most importantly a review of the social media policy.  Those in tier two need to be brought up on the advanced info, such as how to represent the brand, some case studies, and scenario planning.  Lastly, tier three employees are your every day reps.  These folks are your outside speakers and should know the ins and outs of the social media policy, etiquette when representing the brand, and know what to do in a crisis situation.

Thank you again for Chris Barger for an amazing webinar and now it is your turn to teach and implement the social media strategy in your corporation!

What did you do today?


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