While technology plays a role within any social media initiative it is the least important role. The most important Socialution is “how” any initiative will be perceived as either taking away or adding value to people. For instance:
- Does the initiative help people resolve problems or does it just mask problems?
- Is the initiative tied directly to improving peoples experience with your business operations?
- Have all the stakeholders (employees, customers, markets etc.) been made aware of and understand the purpose a social media initiative?
- What are the key metrics of measurement for measuring the impact of any initiative?
- Are social media initiatives aligned with other initiatives and tactics that aim at a common strategic purpose?
As more and more brands create “social media initiatives” those that do it successfully will do so by adopting a set of “social principles” that create lasting attraction and traction generated by people who participate. These principles include:
- The social initiative is more about them, the users, than you
- Free can turn to revenue when you create unique value
- Advertising is not social, solutions and knowledge are
- Bias and politics create anti social reactions from those seeking social interactions and solutions
- Affinity to your community is established by enabling users to create the affinity
- Information precedes knowledge which precedes creativity and innovation.
- Social Media is a system not a silo, not a means to capture or force engagement
- Technology enables valuable conversational threads, provide the tools that create the means
- The differentials that create lasting value is oriented to saving time, creating connectivity and seamless interfaces
- Competitive advantage comes from collaboration rather than isolation
As we said in Have You Failed Successfully? Part 1; Everyone wants results and the results come from failing fast then changing methods to fail even faster. It is learning from others failures as well as your own that enables you to reach any definition of success.
The elements of success have always been and will always be centric to people, value and principles. You can get the technology right, you can even start out with a differential but unless you define the foundational principles correctly your initiative will not create long term strategic value and it will be just another initiative. Failing successfully has short cycle times for correction. The cycle times are in web time which is now. Tomorrow is too late.
Whether for personal or professional gain, principles remain the same. You can fail successfully as long as you don’t compromise your principles. If you approach the social web as a game of capture or tricks of the trade those are anti social principles.
Get it? What say you?