This post is a summary of a 19 page white paper available here.
New market dynamics are emerging as social technology and the use of it proliferates. Making sense of the dynamics and the strategic implications is everyone’s goal. The goal is not an end rather a never-ending pursuit to learn, share and improve.
Learning and sharing is how people and organization can gain clarity of purpose on how to continuously improve. The real value in all things social is the sharing of knowledge with clarity for others to use. Imagine if an audience was focused on sharing of knowledge with clarity. What would be the outcomes? The answer: never-ending improvement and innovation.
Thinking About Social Media
Sometimes thinking about social media can be confusing, overwhelming and lacking clarity of purpose. To think clearly we need to understand the “system” and its related parts as well as the strategic elements required to optimize the “system of production”.
Life and business is a “System of Production”. Individually we receive information and produce more information for personal or professional goals. Businesses and individual engage in a system of production that takes in, processes and puts out information. Some systems are more productive than others based on the quality of related processes that encompass the parts that make up a system as a whole. The intake, processing and passing of information represents communications. Social technology is a system of communications. Communications drive everything. Communications is our collective and personal economy.
Alignment of Strategic Elements
Social media cannot be efficiently used unless a strategy is aligned with intent. Intent are strategic issues that must be thought out thoroughly because strategy drives tactics, initiatives and ultimately results.
The reality is that there are five strategic social media considerations for any organization. These include:
- Cultural Strategy: A very deep and wide subject but in essence what is or what do you want your culture to embody? Open and fluid communications? Control and command environments? Collaboration across functional areas? Teamwork or silo efforts? You can not improve that which you do not understand.
- Relationship Strategy: Relationships, internal and external, drive commerce, productivity and progress. Unless your environment enhances the relational efforts or people and their relevant knowledge you lose productivity, progress and ultimately commerce.
- Content strategy: Content represents communications. Our economy, your economy and the entire global economy is built from communications. Communications is the economy. The content of your communications, on-line and off, internal and external, needs to be designed and executed effectively or you end up hurting your economy.
- Distribution Strategy: Communications are distributed content in context with people’s interest, needs and intent. Unless the right communications get to the right people at the right time and the right place you lose opportunity, productivity and the return on efforts to communicate. Distribution plays to the thinking of the 5 A’s and 6 questions. That is if you think them through and test them constantly.
- Actions: Ultimately the previous four strategic elements lead to actions people initiate or respond to. Businesses equate actions to revenue but revenue comes from enabling people to make the right choices that lead to an action, revenue. Revenue is driven by finding the right information at the right time and the right place (distribution). If the information provided isn’t the right information then that is a content strategy issue. If the content isn’t getting to the right people (relationships) then it become useless. A organizations culture either inhibits or enhances the connectivity of relationships, content (communications) and enables distributions effectively so people can act..
A 5X6 Communications Matrix (The Tactics)
The aim of any system is to help people by providing the right information which earns their attention long enough to create an attraction. The earned attraction helps to form an affinity to the sender. If you repeat the process you begin to engage an audience of followers who respect and want the value you give.
Engaging people with quality information, whether internal or external, is the beginning of innately valuable actions.
Asking the Right Questions
Without considering how, where, when, who and what are your market’s interest, needs and desires, you cannot effectively give a reason why the market should pay consistent attention to you.
Answers to the 6 questions as relates to each “A” will enable you to discover and learn how to execute an effective social media strategy.
While the 5 A’s and related 6 questions are tactical guidelines for effective thinking about social media they cannot be efficiently used unless your strategy is aligned with the right intent.
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