Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Developing a social media business strategy – 2

Posted in social networking and business, Web 2.0 marketing by Timothy Platt on June 3, 2011

Just over three weeks ago I posted a first part of a short series on social media in business, and as a means of widening the conversation (see Developing a Social Media Business Strategy – 1.) I have in fact been simultaneously running two separate and distinct series on this general topic, with this one focusing on the strategic side of this set of issues and the other on more operational aspects (see Web 2.0 Marketing, postings 55, 56 and 58-61.)

I take it as a basic assumption for this posting and for this topic in general, that if you find the right people to bring into social media participation for your business they will share an effective message for your business. So strategy is not about developing the right message – that, I would handle at an operational level by offering resources such as a Social Media Guideline. Strategy should focus on what you enable and do using social media. And in practical terms this has to be about who you bring into these conversations from within your organization as that will effectively determine who this social media initiative reaches.

In several respects the single most important posting I have offered in this blog to date on social networking and related, is the one where I first started discussing social network taxonomy (see Social Network Taxonomy and Social Networking Strategy) and I come back to this again here.

• Look for people who actively network and who are already familiar with and using social media – and with a positive message that is free from the baggage of what can at times be ill-considered comments.
• Look for people who would appeal to their target audiences, and for both what they say and how they say it, and who can do this with a genuine, personal voice.
• And then strategy focuses on building social media-connected communities, rich in conversational flow and both with your business and about it – viral marketing.

I have been actively posting on the how of social media in business, and that is important. But if this does not connect into and inform business strategy – if it only resides in and is discussed in a here and now, short term operational context much of the potential value for social media involvement will be lost.

• Strategically involve the right people.
• Monitor how the conversation develops and flows looking for insight that can be used in developing both short term and longer term plans and priorities.
• And use the fruits of all of this to position your business in the marketplace as being actively involved, and as a member of a connected, involved community.

Ultimately business social media is not about any one posting or comment, or any one discussion thread. It is not simply about any one participant, even if individual participants can rise to the top and gain widening reputations, and even if individual discussion threads and even individual postings can come to take on recognized significance at times. Ultimately this is about an ongoing process of broad-based involvement with all that this can bring, and both to the business and to its marketplace.

I am sure to come back to social media in business, and many times in future postings. This is still a very rapidly evolving area and both for what is possible and for how this can all be used in creating sustaining value.

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