Achieving Social Media Actualization

Posted on December 15, 2010 by Comments Off

Over the past year, we’ve seen a shift in the way our clients are thinking about social media: namely, the conversations we are having today are less about WHY and more about HOW.

This is an important evolution. In the beginning stages of social media adoption, brands tend to be simply concerned with establishing a presence, tapping into the trend. In this phase, social media executions are chaotic, ad hoc — typically don’t accrue to anything. In pockets, processes and best practices begin to develop; however, in most cases, these practices tend not to be adopted consistently across the organization. Then, inevitably, come the ROI questions. To address the ROI question, organizations have to define standard business processes, examine objectives and map outcomes. 


It’s typically somewhere between maturation out of the ad-hoc phase and into the beginnings of process that companies begin to see the delta between the vision and the reality and come to us with the HOW questions.

  • How do we organize?
  • How do we prioritize?
  • How do we create and manage content?
  • How do we centralize measurement?
  • How do we establish and manage governance processes?

In our fourth post on the Influence Toolkit, we look at how our Social Influence System can help companies achieve the organizational structure, processes and governance to fully actualize on the promise of social media.

Many of the companies we speak to face a common challenge: social media is executed in silos with little integration or centralized management. From the audience perspective, the net result is a chaotic experience, with little engagement, often lacking in follow-through and inconsistency in messaging.

The solution starts with the establishment of a centralized governance body within the organization which is charged with social media governance — a Social Media Center of Excellence (SMCoE). This SMCoE team represents a unified integration point for internal stakeholders and also oversees content strategy, ensuring consistency in messaging, experience and engagement among external audiences.

Similar to a modern newsroom model, the SMCoE represents the editorial board and news hub at the heart of the operation. In this context, stakeholder orgs — such as PR, Marcomm, Business Units — are analogous to the news bureaus responsible for the creation of content. Content flows into the hub from the bureaus, where it is reviewed, packaged, published and managed.

Once the SMCoE team is in place, an organization is far better equipped to engage effectively on social media and achieve desired outcomes. Processes and workflows are adapted to suit the real-time demands of social media and governance roles are defined for efficient, actionable decision-making.

What this looks like from the outside is a brand that engages fluidly in conversation across social media channels. The brand builds its follower base organically and is able to drive narratives that are genuinely interesting and generate buzz. It participates in existing conversations in a way that is relevant. And if you engage the brand on one of its social media channels, it responds to your query or concern with the speed and authenticity that an individual would.

Has your company achieved social media actualization?

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