I see several parallels between what is happening in the web versus what is happening within an intranet on social media. Example, What the brands are doing about consumer behavior is what functions/management should do about employee behavior within the enterprise, however then that’s just one aspect. While it takes much longer for enterprises to catch up with the available open internet technologies, fundamentally designing a social media strategy can be done in a technology agnostic manner.
I call it in cliché terms the ‘Connections > Conversations > Engagement’ or the E=MC2 strategy
Engagement equals My actions on Connections and Conversations
Connections are made, at multiple levels of abstraction. Several types of connections are possible such as a person to person connect or between a person and a brand.
All connections have one thing in common, connection are made in a specific space.
Physical proximity is a key factor in making connections, people don’t look for the perfect or the most relevant connection, they just go with what is the closest even if less relevant. After all it is only 6 degrees of separation between any of us, Milgram proved it before we were born
Virtual Spaces is next, with multiple channels opened up and each with its own level of information noise.
How clearly and loudly can you hear your audience speak about you in a virtual space, be it the bulletin board or on twitter?
If your people are more connected via SMS it might make sense to build a mobile phone directory than deploying a content management system.
Identities play a key role in connections, while it is easy to connect with people who have multiple matching identity facets.
Have you heard of the social objects, these take background center stage and necessary for connect to happen.
Connections trigger conversations (and spam)
Context to the conversation is what my social media presence does for me, if I am a brand and all I have is a badly packaged shoddy product.
I may hide my brand behind any social media and all I will end up getting is firing from every connection.
On the other hand you have a small but staunch following on your product and you intend to hear all the voices from this following, your strategy is to be all ears to any comment on a convenient platform, preferably where your users already are registered.
Building trust through conversations is based on honesty and just being who you are.
Being prepared to have the nasty conversation in open is an option, but to ignore it is not.
(Note to Self: While expressing thoughts and viewpoints it must be noted that downright honesty and first person content gets far more responses than preachy second or third person passages.)
Conversations when acted result in engagement
It is not enough to be conversing in the social media, it is plain necessary to act on feedback and respond in surprisingly delightful ways to the followers. I exist only because of them and I see no better way to improving myself than through this conversation. Trending follower needs through conversations and seeking active feedback is hard work, there are thankfully many tools and methods.
So, What is your social media strategy?