Why There is No Such Thing as a Social Media Strategy

Did your organization ever have a TV or Email strategy? Then, why would you have a social media strategy? What would have happened today if you had a strategy for MySpace? When it comes to social media tools, the question that you need to ask yourself is which of these plethora of tools enable my business? If I look from my customer’s perspective, what is the best experience I can provide him or her by using these tools? We still don’t know which tools will be pervasive so the focus should not be on the tools but on how they enable your business and bring your culture to life.

And fans and followers are not reliable business metrics.  As Jeremiah Owyang points out those numbers include your employees and competitors and are not valid indicators.  He recommends we

Instead, focus on the business outcomes of the account, whether it be for being involved in influencing them, transacting leads or conversions, fostering word of mouth, improving customer service and support, or generating ideas for future products or the brand … focus on the business goals the fans and followers yield for you.

The 5 trends that are impacting our business from a social networking perspective are:

Technology Changes, Humans Don’t.  It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users, while iPhone applications took 9 months to reach 1 billion users.  Three years ago, we did not have the Smartphones we know and love today. Texting is the #1 most used data service in the world and very few organizations ever had an SMS strategy. Instead, they looked at how adoption can enable their business. Nonprofit organizations were first to tap into the power of SMS in mobile health and other strategic areas.

We Trust Strangers. Anyone can influence anyone: We now trust strangers as much as our closest friends for restaurants we eat at, movies we watch, hotels we stay at and so much more.  How do we know that someone else’s 5-star rating is similar to what we like?  People also trust strangers recommendations and opinions much more than paid advertising. Think about what this means for your business.

Businesses are no longer the sole creators of their brand. Social business brings forth the importance of relationships and will require leaders to be transparent and authentic, while agility will become an increasingly more important business driver.

Increased Need to Embrace the Multi-Generational Workplace.  This is the first time in the history of work where we have 5 generations in the workplace with different needs and styles.  Organizations will need to adapt and embrace the needs of the different generations especially to attract the younger employees with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) acceptance, open workspaces and meaningful work, while balancing the needs of older employees.

The Connected Enterprise. The power to draw resources and people when we need them to solve problems and meet challenges will become increasingly important.  The World Future Society predicts that we will move to a Hollywood style work environment where will need to be able to pull the right skill sets for each project.  And the Connected Enterprise is one where a new class of company is emerging—one that uses collaborative Web 2.0 technologies intensively to connect the internal efforts of employees and to extend the organization’s reach to customers, partners, and suppliers.

You can also view and download my recent presentation on Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch Every Time

About Ayelet Baron

Ayelet is an expert in social business, online collaboration, global business strategy and operations. Her particular area of focus is implementing strategy and driving business results through people. She has a passion for social good and is currently working with youth in Kenya, using Cisco TelePresence. She is also on the Board of goal4.org and One Media. Ayelet is currently on the Canadian Executive Leadership Team and is responsible for strategy and transformation. She was previously on the executive team of Emerging Markets where she was looking at ways that emerging technologies can generate greater equity in Emerging Markets. Ayelet completed a Cisco Leadership Fellowship, where she worked with CIOs of 26 global non-profit organizations (Save the Children, Plan International, Care, Ashoka, etc.) on a roadmap of how to leverage repeatable ICT solutions, capabilities and resources for sustainable development. She also led the Healthcare Working Group, where she was responsible for ICT healthcare initiatives. Ayelet has a bonus chapter on the Generations and Social Media in Fuse -- http://www.fusethebook.com/
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6 Responses to Why There is No Such Thing as a Social Media Strategy

  1. Excellent post. The key point is that “We still don’t know which tools will be pervasive so the focus should not be on the tools but on how they enable your business and bring your culture to life.” This sentence should appear in flashing red font ;-)

  2. Ayelet, I just referenced your blog post in a French blog post by social media expert and author Michelle Blanc. http://www.michelleblanc.com/2011/11/29/a-propos-de-l%E2%80%99importance-du-web-et-des-medias-sociaux-dans-l%E2%80%99organisation/ The two of you are on the same wave length.

    Michelle Blanc is a graduate of the first class of Master of Sciences in electronic commerce, with a specialization in management, in Canada. She is the founder and President of Analyweb, a consultancy company specializing in e-business management and marketing. She also started Yulbiz.org an international movement of business bloggers gatherings that is now in 6 countries. http://www.michelleblanc.com/

    You should make it a point of meeting her.

  3. Pingback: Technology Changes, People Don't As Quickly

  4. Pingback: Technology Changes, People Don’t … as Quickly | biz-top.com

  5. Pingback: Technology Changes, People Don’t … as Quickly | Tech Chatter

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