Onions are intricate creations, and peeling the onion is often used as an analogy for problem solving.
But, stinging eyes aside, let’s look at them in a another way.
Don’t view those layers of onion as things to discard to get to the core of your problem – look at the layers as what they actually are. Stages of growth.
Your social media strategy will have many layers, and grow a bit like the onion.
Bringing social into your organization can feel overwhelming at first, and of course you will eventually expand and improve upon your strategy and your goals.
But for now, let’s have a look at a few early stages of social media growth.
Involve Your Legal Department
At this stage, you should have already developed policies and guidelines for your employees to follow while engaging in social media. It should be dotted and signed, and ready to deliver to all departments and staff, so they have it on hand should an emergency arise. But, have you ran it through legal yet?
A few years back, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia released their social media policy and experienced an angry backlash from employees and their unions, who felt it was an unfair intrusion into their private online lives. There have been cases where an employee has been fired for breaching their company’s social policy – even when they’ve been on their personal accounts, during off-work hours, and their content wasn’t work related.
The immediacy of social media has changed how we live and work. Treat your social media policy as you would any other changes in your business. Make sure you run it through legal, and make sure it’s iron clad.
Who are You?
The Who’s Pete Townshend wrote “Who Are You” after a hard night of drinking and an irritating encounter with the Sex Pistols, but the refrain is as important today as it was in 1978 – who ARE you? You might have spent millions building a brand, using comprehensive marketing and communications strategies. But have you defined your social brand? Knowing how your social brand (Edgy? Fun? Conservative?) relates to your traditional marketing and communications strategies will help everybody understand and follow online rules of behavior. It will provide a strong reference point for employees as they have two way conversations with your community.
Don’t be a Robot
Positive word of mouth has been an important marketing tool since salesmen started selling, but it lost its power a bit when the suburbs were born. Cars ruled, and people didn’t chat as much with each other. Today, people communicate instantly, and word of mouth marketing has regained its power. Yes, using social media will help you engage with customers faster, but to be successful you need to find your voice.
We’ve mentioned voice before here on FeedBlitz, and while employees should be encouraged to express themselves online, do everyone a favor and scrap the script. Everyone hates scripts. They sound robotic and fake. And we’re pretty sure you don’t want your brand associated with either of those feelings. So, again, encourage staffers to feel comfortable being themselves online, but be sure they know exactly what your company voice is. How far can they go? How opinionated can they be? And what exactly are they allowed to say?
Starting fresh in social media is a lot of work. But if you grow slowly, layer by layer, your social strategy (and your onion!) will end up healthy. And tear free.