Social Media Strategy, Social Media Marketing

Incinerate Your Social Media Checklist

Yes, there are holdouts, but social media adoption is as fast as anything I’ve ever seen. It took at least 7 years for companies to stop asking “why do we need a Web site?” We’ll have nearly universal social media usage at a corporate level long before then.

If you believe Forrester’s predictions on interactive spending, by 2014 U.S. marketers will spend twice as much on social media, as on email. Wow. Email marketing is a pretty fundamental building block of modern communication, and to imagine twice as much being spent on social media is exhilirating. It also scares me to death.

I’m scared because in their zeal to get on the social media train, companies are starting to treat it like a linear equation, like a Paula Dean recipe, like a formulaic summer blockbuster starring an impossibly handsome young man in great peril.

IMG 0001.jpg 300x298 Incinerate Your Social Media ChecklistSocial media is not a checklist.

“Let’s see. We have a Twitter account. We have a Facebook page. We have a blog. I guess we’ve covered all the bases. We’re all done.”

Yikes.

Your Grandkids Will Be Community Managers

Social media is about fundamentally changing the dynamic between brands and their customers. From master and servant, to peer to peer. That necessitates a nuanced, shifting, sustained effort that requires winning hearts and minds on an individualized level. Just being there isn’t enough.

The checklist approach causes two types of problems. First, companies are engaging in social media without any sort of meaningful, long-term social media strategy that gives a rationale for each component. Maybe Facebook isn’t right for your brand. There’s no law (yet) that says you have to have a Twitter account. Your results may (and should) vary with regard to social media implementation.

Boos Golf Hat LG 150x150 Incinerate Your Social Media ChecklistThe second problem is that without a strategy, the specific social media tactics tend to pull apart and operate independently over time. The Facebook approach no longer syncs with the blog, etc. This creates the social media version of a golf hat, where you have about 8 different logos in one place, with no apparent reason why they are adjacent, all fighting for a share of attention.

The Long Haul Speech

I know it’s all the rage right now. But if you’re going to get your company involved in social media, at that very first kick-off meeting where you convene your cross-functional team, make a very important statement.

“If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this right. And that means we cannot turn back. Once we’ve engaged with customers in an authentic, human way, to stop will feel like a slap in the face. So, we all need to realize that our social media efforts are likely to continue beyond this quarter or this year. Our social media efforts must be sustained forever, just like our phone number and our Web site. Is everyone on board with that concept?”

Will you tell them that? Have you already?

Related
  • http://www.serengeticommunications.com/ bethharte

    I love the golf hat analogy…it could also be a Nascar! So many logos is it really effective after a while?!

    The one thing I’d like to ask is this… If companies really (and I mean really!) embrace social media and building those peer-to-peer relationships will community managers still be needed? Right now we act as a liason between community and company (among other things), but if the company embraces SM, is there really a need for a CM? Won’t all employees just do what they should? Where do you see a CM in 2-5 years? (I have my thoughts…but their still percolating.)

    Beth Harte
    Community Manager, MarketingProfs
    @bethharte
    .-= Beth Harte´s last blog ..Top 10 Online Retailers, July 2009 =-.

  • http://www.serengeticommunications.com/ bethharte

    I love the golf hat analogy…it could also be a Nascar! So many logos is it really effective after a while?!

    The one thing I’d like to ask is this… If companies really (and I mean really!) embrace social media and building those peer-to-peer relationships will community managers still be needed? Right now we act as a liason between community and company (among other things), but if the company embraces SM, is there really a need for a CM? Won’t all employees just do what they should? Where do you see a CM in 2-5 years? (I have my thoughts…but their still percolating.)

    Beth Harte
    Community Manager, MarketingProfs
    @bethharte
    .-= Beth Harte´s last blog ..Top 10 Online Retailers, July 2009 =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Whoa! Big question, especially from a community manager. I have haven’t had coffee yet, but I’ll do my best.

      If companies embrace social media end-to-end, I don’t believe the cheerleading role of the community manager will be as critical. But, for consumer convenience and impact, I’ll always believe that having one main “face” of the brand (the community manager/quarterback) is more advantageous than 12 people, each from different departments in the company.

      Community managers in the future will still be necessary, but like with all things new media, the role will continue to shift. That’s what keeps it fun, right Beth?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Whoa! Big question, especially from a community manager. I have haven’t had coffee yet, but I’ll do my best.

      If companies embrace social media end-to-end, I don’t believe the cheerleading role of the community manager will be as critical. But, for consumer convenience and impact, I’ll always believe that having one main “face” of the brand (the community manager/quarterback) is more advantageous than 12 people, each from different departments in the company.

      Community managers in the future will still be necessary, but like with all things new media, the role will continue to shift. That’s what keeps it fun, right Beth?

      • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

        What an excellent question, Beth! Not too shabby of an answer either, Jay. To build on your brilliant reply, I’d add the following:

        I think that the concept of having one main “face” is not realistic. To me, more feasible is a *team* of Community Managers – much like other departments have – Sales Team, Marketing Team, *Social Media* Team. Comcast seems to be doing this quite effectively (at least on Twitter). Mind you, I’m saying this as a Director of Community at a small (25 person) company…and feeling a bit overwhelmed the past few weeks (ha ha).

        Do you both agree?

        DJ Waldow
        Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
        @djwaldow

        (P.S. I like your signature, Beth!)
        .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..Push It: Always Have Fun =-.

      • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

        What an excellent question, Beth! Not too shabby of an answer either, Jay. To build on your brilliant reply, I’d add the following:

        I think that the concept of having one main “face” is not realistic. To me, more feasible is a *team* of Community Managers – much like other departments have – Sales Team, Marketing Team, *Social Media* Team. Comcast seems to be doing this quite effectively (at least on Twitter). Mind you, I’m saying this as a Director of Community at a small (25 person) company…and feeling a bit overwhelmed the past few weeks (ha ha).

        Do you both agree?

        DJ Waldow
        Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
        @djwaldow

        (P.S. I like your signature, Beth!)
        .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..Push It: Always Have Fun =-.

  • http://www.marketingprofs.com Beth Harte

    I love the golf hat analogy…it could also be a Nascar! So many logos is it really effective after a while?!

    The one thing I’d like to ask is this… If companies really (and I mean really!) embrace social media and building those peer-to-peer relationships will community managers still be needed? Right now we act as a liason between community and company (among other things), but if the company embraces SM, is there really a need for a CM? Won’t all employees just do what they should? Where do you see a CM in 2-5 years? (I have my thoughts…but their still percolating.)

    Beth Harte
    Community Manager, MarketingProfs
    @bethharte
    .-= Beth Harte´s last blog ..Top 10 Online Retailers, July 2009 =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Whoa! Big question, especially from a community manager. I have haven’t had coffee yet, but I’ll do my best.

      If companies embrace social media end-to-end, I don’t believe the cheerleading role of the community manager will be as critical. But, for consumer convenience and impact, I’ll always believe that having one main “face” of the brand (the community manager/quarterback) is more advantageous than 12 people, each from different departments in the company.

      Community managers in the future will still be necessary, but like with all things new media, the role will continue to shift. That’s what keeps it fun, right Beth?

      • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

        What an excellent question, Beth! Not too shabby of an answer either, Jay. To build on your brilliant reply, I’d add the following:

        I think that the concept of having one main “face” is not realistic. To me, more feasible is a *team* of Community Managers – much like other departments have – Sales Team, Marketing Team, *Social Media* Team. Comcast seems to be doing this quite effectively (at least on Twitter). Mind you, I’m saying this as a Director of Community at a small (25 person) company…and feeling a bit overwhelmed the past few weeks (ha ha).

        Do you both agree?

        DJ Waldow
        Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
        @djwaldow

        (P.S. I like your signature, Beth!)
        .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..Push It: Always Have Fun =-.

  • http://www.netwitsthinktank.com/ frank

    Thinking long term and digging beyond the tools is critical.

    Everyone, like you say, is getting into social media. In the nonprofit world is’t Facebook and Twitter. They just need to get account and start doing sometihng, but I’m not sure how much effort people put into planning long term.

    The ones I’ve seen succeed so far are the big ones that have a large following already. They have the advantage of being known in other ways so once they get on Facebook/Twitter/etc… people just start finding them.

    What have you found be helpful in educating businesses so that they listen and hear this message?

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  • http://www.netwitsthinktank.com/ frank

    Thinking long term and digging beyond the tools is critical.

    Everyone, like you say, is getting into social media. In the nonprofit world is’t Facebook and Twitter. They just need to get account and start doing sometihng, but I’m not sure how much effort people put into planning long term.

    The ones I’ve seen succeed so far are the big ones that have a large following already. They have the advantage of being known in other ways so once they get on Facebook/Twitter/etc… people just start finding them.

    What have you found be helpful in educating businesses so that they listen and hear this message?

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  • http://www.netwitsthinktank.com frank

    Thinking long term and digging beyond the tools is critical.

    Everyone, like you say, is getting into social media. In the nonprofit world is’t Facebook and Twitter. They just need to get account and start doing sometihng, but I’m not sure how much effort people put into planning long term.

    The ones I’ve seen succeed so far are the big ones that have a large following already. They have the advantage of being known in other ways so once they get on Facebook/Twitter/etc… people just start finding them.

    What have you found be helpful in educating businesses so that they listen and hear this message?

    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  • Dan Levine

    My guess is that most everyone that’s reading this blog has bought into the idea of a SM strategy. It’s important and significant, we all agree.

    The challenge, of course, is reaching the non-converted. And how best to to do that? Just *telling* our clients or bosses that covering the checklist is not enough and that they/we need a thoughtful strategy isn’t enough. We need to show case study after case study of who’s done it right and who’s done it wrong. That will be compelling. Can you point us to some case studies that we can use to share with our clients and/or bosses? Or is there a better way to make the idea of a strategy more *real* to people?

    Thanks for another great post, Jay. You always get us thinking…

  • Dan Levine

    My guess is that most everyone that’s reading this blog has bought into the idea of a SM strategy. It’s important and significant, we all agree.

    The challenge, of course, is reaching the non-converted. And how best to to do that? Just *telling* our clients or bosses that covering the checklist is not enough and that they/we need a thoughtful strategy isn’t enough. We need to show case study after case study of who’s done it right and who’s done it wrong. That will be compelling. Can you point us to some case studies that we can use to share with our clients and/or bosses? Or is there a better way to make the idea of a strategy more *real* to people?

    Thanks for another great post, Jay. You always get us thinking…

  • http://YourWebsite Dan Levine

    My guess is that most everyone that’s reading this blog has bought into the idea of a SM strategy. It’s important and significant, we all agree.

    The challenge, of course, is reaching the non-converted. And how best to to do that? Just *telling* our clients or bosses that covering the checklist is not enough and that they/we need a thoughtful strategy isn’t enough. We need to show case study after case study of who’s done it right and who’s done it wrong. That will be compelling. Can you point us to some case studies that we can use to share with our clients and/or bosses? Or is there a better way to make the idea of a strategy more *real* to people?

    Thanks for another great post, Jay. You always get us thinking…

  • http://b2b-techcopy.net/ Randy Kemp

    Srategy and social media go hand in hand, as thise blog post has illustrated.
    .-= Randy Kemp´s last blog ..Help Me Readers: Is This Company Real? =-.

  • http://b2b-techcopy.net/ Randy Kemp

    Srategy and social media go hand in hand, as thise blog post has illustrated.
    .-= Randy Kemp´s last blog ..Help Me Readers: Is This Company Real? =-.

  • http://b2b-techcopy.net Randy Kemp

    Srategy and social media go hand in hand, as thise blog post has illustrated.
    .-= Randy Kemp´s last blog ..Help Me Readers: Is This Company Real? =-.

  • http://www.pitbullsandlabradors.blogspot.com/ Lally

    Brav – f’ing – O. Too many just want to “DO” the SocMed thang because it’s the shiny tool. Great. What will you “DO” when you get there?

    Stealing immediately (but crediting, of course. we are gentlemen)
    .-= Lally´s last blog ..What Does "Clean" Really Mean Anyway? =-.

  • http://www.pitbullsandlabradors.blogspot.com/ Lally

    Brav – f’ing – O. Too many just want to “DO” the SocMed thang because it’s the shiny tool. Great. What will you “DO” when you get there?

    Stealing immediately (but crediting, of course. we are gentlemen)
    .-= Lally´s last blog ..What Does "Clean" Really Mean Anyway? =-.

  • http://www.pitbullsandlabradors.blogspot.com Lally

    Brav – f’ing – O. Too many just want to “DO” the SocMed thang because it’s the shiny tool. Great. What will you “DO” when you get there?

    Stealing immediately (but crediting, of course. we are gentlemen)
    .-= Lally´s last blog ..What Does "Clean" Really Mean Anyway? =-.

  • Indra Gardiner

    Guess you’ve taught me well. Told client this today. RT @jaybaer: Why you should Incinerate your Social Media Checklist http://bit.ly/y8czU

  • http://twitter.com/jankovitch/status/3826003337 jan kovitch

    Incinerate Your Social Media Checklist http://bit.ly/1VmOjl

  • http://www.nextlevelblogger.com/ Christian

    It’s a great point that Facebook and Twitter aren’t necessarily right for your business. Don’t assume they are. The “set it and forget it” mentality is definitely in place in many businesses. Getting past it is a challenge, but it’s really rather simple isn’t it? As soon as you walk away from a conversation, the conversation is over. why would you want to NOT be engaged with your network. Engagement after all is the entire point.
    .-= Christian´s last blog ..Top 10 Myths and Mistakes About Blogging and Internet Marketing =-.

  • http://www.nextlevelblogger.com/ Christian

    It’s a great point that Facebook and Twitter aren’t necessarily right for your business. Don’t assume they are. The “set it and forget it” mentality is definitely in place in many businesses. Getting past it is a challenge, but it’s really rather simple isn’t it? As soon as you walk away from a conversation, the conversation is over. why would you want to NOT be engaged with your network. Engagement after all is the entire point.
    .-= Christian´s last blog ..Top 10 Myths and Mistakes About Blogging and Internet Marketing =-.

  • http://www.nextlevelblogger.com Christian

    It’s a great point that Facebook and Twitter aren’t necessarily right for your business. Don’t assume they are. The “set it and forget it” mentality is definitely in place in many businesses. Getting past it is a challenge, but it’s really rather simple isn’t it? As soon as you walk away from a conversation, the conversation is over. why would you want to NOT be engaged with your network. Engagement after all is the entire point.
    .-= Christian´s last blog ..Top 10 Myths and Mistakes About Blogging and Internet Marketing =-.

  • http://twitter.com/sofia_henriques/status/3865511957 Sofia Henriques

    just beeing there is not enough…

    http://bit.ly/378Wuj

  • http://twitter.com/trendtracker/status/3866222736 Glen D. Gilmore, Esq

    Incinerate Your Social Media Checklist http://bit.ly/13ICGG #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/buzzedition/status/3866282443 Susan Elaine Cooper

    RT @TrendTracker: Incinerate Your Social Media Checklist http://bit.ly/13ICGG #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/interactiveamy/status/3866290203 Amy Ravit Korin

    RT @tweetmeme Incinerate Your Social Media Checklist | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince &… http://bit.ly/13ICGG

  • http://twitter.com/addataexpress/status/3866323219 Advertising Database

    Social media is about the dynamic between brands and their customers. 9.15 DM @arthurbarbato for reservation to webinar! http://bit.ly/LvlOX

  • http://twitter.com/duaneroberts/status/3866329666 Duane Roberts

    "You need a social media strategy" RT @TrendTracker: Incinerate Your Social Media Checklist http://bit.ly/13ICGG #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/emoutsias/status/3869625043 Eleni Moutsias

    RT @tweetmeme Incinerate Your Social Media Checklist | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince &… http://bit.ly/13ICGG

  • http://twitter.com/addatabase/status/3920184776 Advertising Database

    RT @AdDataExpress Social media is about the dynamic between brands and their customers. DM @arthurbarbato http://bit.ly/LvlOX

  • http://twitter.com/matthewray/status/3954639561 Matthew Ray

    RT @TrendTracker: Incinerate Your Social Media Checklist http://bit.ly/13ICGG #socialmedia (via @JayBaer)

  • C Forest

    I have asked that same question, using the web site example a month ago to our sales/marketing team. And let’s not forget that a SM strategy is far more time consuming than maintenance of a web site. You’re talking monthly vs daily or even hourly interventions. Better think twice before starting anything!

    And if you’re wondering what their answer was, well we all paused, took a big breath, let out a sigh… And got to work. SM is here to stay. There is no turning back.

  • letstalkandchat

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out http://www.mikelmurphy.com/evergreen-business-system-bonus-webinar-software/ and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.