Social Media Strategy – Understanding Your Team

The idea of an effective social media strategy is very complex, yet brutally simple.

Like many challenges, it really has to do with understanding your team.

Everyone has a talent, but not everyone has a perception of what that talent is or how they can grow it into a useful professional skill.

To help understand this thought, consider this example:

You work next to someone for years and they seem to be perfectly capable business people. They show up at meetings on time. They seem to always meet the core duties of the job.

Day after day you become accustomed to this level of professional expectation. Co-worker XYZ becomes a cog. You start losing track of them as having special skills. You think of them in terms of performing a task, over and over again.

Then one day, usually at a holiday office party, the same co-worker casually walks into the room with a guitar and begins to play it.

To your shock and surprise… they are actually really good.

Almost immediately everyone in the party is saying comments like
“holy smokes, I never knew they could do that!”

Question: How many people in your company have hidden talents?

In the social media space, business teams are looking for these talented artists who have a social skill, technical savvy and personal media aptitude… but no business direction or need to use it for the good of the company.

With a lack of guidance and business strategy, these employees are forever doomed to casually act as a cog within your company. Solving this problem requires leadership defining the strategic vision for where the company is heading and how to tactically inform team members how to leverage these “personal talents”

Just think about it: if Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was working in your mail room…. you would probably kick yourself for not using his real talents.

Creating a social media strategy with your team

1- Research your team

Ask them what online tools and gadgets they use. Write down a list of web services you are interested in using for your business.

The most typical services include:

  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Google

Pay particular attention to “gadget people” in your company. They are often earlier adopters of many online services.

Ask them if they know anything about:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Community Management
  • Interviewing People
  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Graphic Design

These are friendly yes/no questions.
If you want to get more detailed, ask for a simple 1 to 5 star rating.

Ask them if they are interested in being involved with developing a social media strategy

2- Sit down and strategize

Depending on the size of your organization, try to select a few people who are

  • familiar with the tools
  • active online
  • eager to learn

You have to wear a strategic hat while doing this. It may be a simple fact that the best  person in your company who understands this type of communication is a junior employee. This isn’t something to be scared about – you will be the one to offer strategic business guidance, while they bring tactical understanding and talent into the mix.

3- Map out business goals

While many business professionals try to map out goals first, a key factor in using this process is mapping out business goals using employee assets you already have. The intent is to maximize your current workforce. If you would rather map out business goals first, you are more than likely going to paint yourself into a corner and require external staffing support (a consultant or additional headcount.)

Business goals you should consider for a social media strategy

  • Customer Engagement
  • Prospect / Lead Generation
  • Brand Strengthening / Protection
  • Business Intelligence
  • Training / Education

Applying Your Social Media Strategy

Here are three things to keep in mind

  • Focus on a few low-hanging fruit. Look for small and achievable goals.
  • Don’t try to swallow the ocean of information and allocate a major budget investment right away.
  • It is more important to build familiarity and internal support for a successful venture into social media.

Did these tips on social media strategy help? If so – please leave a comment below with some reader tips in challenges you are facing with your own social media strategy or forward this on to your social network.