Laying Out A Framework for Social Media Strategy

In my Social Media 101 presentation to a group of marketers from E&Y last week, I included the beginnings of a social media framework that has been on my mind recently.  This post explains how I will be using the framework to address social media strategy needs for my clients.

One more thing – the tables below are slanted toward a B2B social media strategy, but could easily be modified for a B2C or hybrid strategy.

The first table looks at the six primary social media functions.  I first saw this list of functions in a presentation by Marta Kagan and have been using  them to explain the different areas that social media can address.  Against the six social media functions, I mapped the key social media tools that can be used to address these functions.  I could have used generic categories such as blog, video, social networking and bookmarking and I omitted some categories for my audience such as wikis, user review sites and forums.

Once I plotted the intersections, it is interesting to see that not every tool addresses each function.  Some people may argue that if you make the bus big enough, you could probably justify any of the tools for any of the functions – but I have limited the intersections to their most typical usage.

Mapping Social Media Functions to Tools

After mapping the social media functions to tools, the next important step was to assign priority to each tool.  Along with the priority, it is also key to understand both the upfront effort and the ongoing effort for each tool.  For example, creating and maximizing your LinkedIn profile is a high priority that has moderate upfront effort and a low ongoing effort score.

There are better ways to to quantify effort, but they are difficult to document without further knowledge of the situation.  After spending some time doing discovery with a specific client, I would most likely assign hours or days of effort.  For now, the table below just identifies relative effort levels.

Social Media Tools - Priority and Effort

As you can see above, I would rank LinkedIn Profiles and Groups,  a blog and Slideshare as high priority implementations.  But each one comes with different levels of both upfront and ongoing effort.  And I would put blogging and managing a community in the high category for ongoing effort which explains why many companies choose not to implement these tools despite their relative priority.

The framework is also a work in progress so any comments are welcome.


What is Social Media? Courtesy of Marta Kagan

This presentation from self-described bonafide marketing genius Marta Kagan (@MZKagen) is one of the best ones I’ve seen recently on Social Media.  Not only is it informative, but it is highly entertaining and beautifully visual with some great data points.

Marta reminds viewers that social media is more than just another marketing channel.  In fact, social media is a corporate mindset and has a role in:

  • PR
  • Customer Service
  • Loyalty-Building
  • Collaboration
  • Networking
  • Thought Leadership

The other key point that Marta made is “to stop thinking campaigns and start thinking conversations“.

The presentation wraps up with this simple rules:

  1. Listen
  2. Engage
  3. Measure

With that, here is Marta’s complete presentation:

Note that this presentation is a follow-up to Marta’s presentation from a year ago called “What The F**K is Social Media?

What the Heck is Social Media?

Here is a great presentation by Social Media Evangelist Marta Kagan that I found on Slideshare this weekend.  It is one of the more popular presentations on Social Media and has been viewed by more than 50,000 people since is was posted 1 month ago.  Maybe it has something to do with the title, but I found it very interesting including the initial slide with these two definitions of Social Media:

Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio

Social media is people having conversations online.

The 5 reasons for being involved with social media include:

  1. Social media sites are officially more popular than porn
  2. 78% of people trust the recommendations of other consumers
  3. People are talking about your brand – RIGHT NOW
  4. Social media is only going to become more pervasive
  5. Tomorrow’s consumers are today’s “digital natives”

At the end, Marta provided this simple advice:

  • Listen
  • Participate
  • Relinquish control
  • Engage

Listening and participating is usually pretty easy for most companies – you just have to have someone devote time to the get involved.  In my experience, relinquishing control is one of the hardest pieces of advice to follow – especially for senior and executive management.  They are used to being in control and whether they like it or not, the consumer is in control in social media situations.  Finally, sustained engagement is also hard as it takes a commitment to getting and staying involved.  The paybacks for social media initiatives are sometimes not immediately obvious or cannot be looked at in the same way as other investments.  But as the presentation says, “the train is leaving the station, with or without you”.