19 June 2012
Do You Know Your Strategy?
Social media is more than just a platform to broadcast your message. In last week’s Power Ten, Inc.’s Social Media for Defense column, the topic of broadcasting vs. influencing for social communities was discussed. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow people to bridge geographical gaps connecting, talking, and interacting in a meaningful way. Using social media can be a valuable communication strategy; however, it needs to be more than just a platform used as a sounding board. It needs to be a well-coordinated message with the end result in mind.
As one of the most successful users of Social Media for Defense, the U.S. Army knows the importance of planning and preaches it in their handbook. “Step 1 – Determine what you plan to achieve with your social media presence. Make sure you have a way forward and set your goals. Developing a social media outreach plan requires a lot of thought, so make sure you know how you plan to use social media to communicate.”
In business, it is easy to quickly become wrapped up in the numbers of social media rather than the message. How many fans do we have? Are they responding to our information consistently? This will quickly cause your message to become confused and lost in a frantic attempt to gain more “Likes” and “Follows.”
Liking the U.S. Army is akin to liking fireworks and apple pie on the Fourth of July. Who isn’t going to want to be a supporter of the Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force? The company you work for and the products or services may provide integral tools for the defense world, but it is not thought of in the same context as the men and women of the armed forces who we hear about daily on the national news.
Does your company want to gain attention for a specific product or service? Is being known as a thought-leader or company that is on the cutting-edge what you want? Ask yourself questions and define where you want to be in 90 days, six months, one year, and five years from now with your social media.
After you have done some basic research, create a team that will be responsible for developing and monitoring your social media strategy. It is important to have a strategy for each of your platforms. This helps your company refine its focus. During the planning process, it is helpful to look at how other companies and organizations are using social media.
Some examples of Social Media in Defense on Facebook include Power Ten, Inc., U.S. Marines, and Northrop Grumman. The same organizations are on Twitter and other social media channels such as YouTube, LinkedIn and Flickr as well.
Once you’ve done your research and you’re confident in setting up your social media presence, step boldly into the medium. See what works for your company and tailor it accordingly. Remember to consult your strategy plan and team regularly to hone your message and successfully grow your plan.
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