I read with interest a recent and very interesting blog post by an ex-University colleague of mine Jillian Ney entitled Why? Do You Have ‘Why’ in Your Social Media Plan?
The essence of Jillian’s (@jillney) excellent post was the need for constant self-appraisal of why we are doing this? Why do we need a social media strategy? Why are we using this specific media? Why are we posting this particular content? and so on. Constantly asking why, according to Jillian, will prevent you jumping on the ‘we need to do this because everyone else is doing it’ bandwagon. It will ensure that your social media strategy is customised to the specific needs of your own organisation, rather than following a ‘me too’ road to nowhere.
Jillian’s post reminded me of another excellent article, published last July, by Brian Solis (@briansolis) entitled The Number One Least Asked Question in Social Media Why. Brian addressed the why question from a customer-led perspective – ‘Like us on Facebook’, why should I? ‘Follow us on Twitter, why should I? Why should I connect with your brand? Why should I tell people about you? and so on. In a social media era characterised by customer empowerment, these are critical questions to ask. Too many companies still adopt an ‘inside-out’ rather than an ‘outside-in’ customer led approach to social media. With the rise of the social customer, this is a dangerous strategy to follow.
Like Jillian and Brian, we too have our own list of questions to be addressed. These have been developed to encourage organisations to undertake a detailed Social Media Strategy Audit. A Balanced Scorecard approach is used to ensure that future social media activities are fully aligned with and supportive of core business goals and objectives.
As we move into 2012, there is general agreement that companies and organisations, of all sizes and across all sectors, should be moving to a deeper level of engagement with social media. The best way to move forward in this area is to take a brief step back from day-to-day social media issues, undertake a strategic audit of progress made benchmarked against accepted ‘best practice’. The resulting ‘Gap Analysis’ i.e. the ‘Gap’ that exists between where your organisation is and where it should be provides a solid foundation for future Social Media Strategy Development.
Attached to this post, you will find our recommended questions for undertaking a ‘Social Media Strategy Audit’. This is best done through a senior management ‘brainstorming’ session. However, to get a quick feel for what’s involved, work through the attached ten questions giving your organisation a quick score out of 10 for each one (0 – very poor performance in this area; 10 – excellent performance).
Once you have completed the exercise, tally up your percentage score. Be sure to let us know how well you performed overall? What areas are you performing very well or very poorly in? Where are the major areas for improvement?
Hope you find this useful.
As usual, comments and feedback very welcome.
Jim, Alan, Vincent