Social Media Strategy

by Joe Melanson, President, Parallel 6

Do you have a Social Media Strategy, or simply a Follower Page in Facebook?

We often see organizations that have built a Facebook Follower page, maybe activated a Twitter account and a YouTube channel, post one or twice per week, respond to follower posts sporadically and then wonder why they are not seeing any business results from Social Media. The root cause? There’s no comprehensive Social Media strategy.

Social Media changes almost daily with new tactics, new technologies and new players. We believe that an organization must first fully understand what Social Media is, and just as important, what it is not, and then second, create an effective Social Media strategy that fits their organizational goals and objectives. Marketers and other key functional managers must first become educated on Social Media and then educate the organization – from the top down – to ensure that the organization achieves a positive return on their Social Media investment.

Educate yourself. Read everything you can. There is a tremendous volume of information out there in Linkedin forums, blogs and sites like Mashable and Social Media Today. Attend webinars. Check out your competitors and see what they are doing. Follow major brands with robust Social Media strategies like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Best Buy, etc. Once you feel that you’ve got a handle on Social Media, begin to educate the rest of the organization. Meet with your company’s key stakeholders to update and educate your teams on Social Media and ways in which other companies – and your competitors – are leveraging Social Media to drive business results, improve customer service, recruit talent, provide customer research and obtain valuable feedback for product development.

Then, take the time to develop an effective Social Media Strategy before you jump in and create that first Facebook Follower page.

A comprehensive and effective strategy should consist of:

1. Business goals and objectives and the ROI that you wish to achieve through your Social Media efforts
2. Brands, products and services that you’ll want to focus on
3. Agreed upon budget and resource allocation
4. An integration strategy: How will you integrate Social Media with your other Marketing channels in order to build and engage large communities of interest across multiple Social Networks?
5. A content strategy. Content is the fuel that feeds Social Media. What content will be required and how will you produce that content?
6. A promotional strategy: What offers, discounts and incentives will you provide, how will you track those offers through the use of promo codes and how will you engage your communities to share those offers to their individual networks?
7. A recruitment strategy: How will you integrate Social Media with your recruitment strategy?
8. A R&D strategy: What types of research do you want to conduct in Social Media and how will you execute that research?
9. A Reputation Management Strategy: How will you manage your online reputation and brand? What monitoring tools will you use? Who within the organization is best suited to resolve customer issues within Social Media?
10. A technology strategy: What technologies will you activate, which social networks will you be active in? What and how will you link, bookmark and back link assets and content?
11. A measurement strategy: What metrics will you monitor and how will you measure and report on a weekly and monthly basis? How will you measure ROI for Social Media?
12. An implementation strategy: What’s the plan for implementing the strategy and what resources will be involved?
13. A Social Media Policy: How will you develop a Social Media Policy? Who will and won’t be allowed to represent your brand within Social Media? How will you train your organization on the policy?
14. The Social Media Team: Who will actually do the work? What skill sets are needed? What will you do in house and what will you outsource?
15. The Execution Plan: What activities are required on weekly, monthly and quarterly basis?

Don’t have the time or resources to do it all? We’re here to help!

Great Article Sponsored by Awareness Social Marketing Software. Who would you add to this list?

15 Twitter Lists for C-Suite Execs to Follow

This series is supported by The Awareness Social Marketing Hub, a leading enterprise-grade application for marketers struggling with the social media chaos of managing multiple social channels.

Twitter Lists are a great way to follow a group of like-minded Twitter users. By following a List, you can get an overview of a particular subject by simply taking a look at the stream from time to time. A well-curated Twitter List can be focused on a specific topic, industry or interest.

With the increase in C-level executives joining and taking part in social networks across the Internet, there are bound to be questions. While Twitter is one of the simplest social media tools out there, Lists are one of the more complicated features for new tweeters to comprehend.

We recommend using tools like TLists, Listorious and TweetMeme Lists to scope out and follow Lists of interest. To get you started or to beef up your current List inventory, here are 15 Twitter Lists for C-suite executives to follow, separated into categories for CEOs, CMOs, CIOs and CTOs, and CFOs.

Twitter Lists for CEOs:

For the latest business, management and leadership tweets, here are three Twitter Lists for CEOs to follow:

CEOs: If you’re a CEO and not on this Twitter List, send a friendly tweet to Brand Strategist Valeria Maltoni, and she’ll likely add you to what seems to be the most comprehensive list of CEOs on Twitter. Look to this List for the latest tweets from over 150 CEOs. The List seems to be highly concentrated on digital and technology.
Business News: Curated by The New York Times, this compilation is a short list of the most essential business news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Reuters Business and Silicon Alley Insider.
Management & Leadership: This TLists SuperList compiles the top tweeters from 216 Twitter Lists, tweeting about management, leadership and power.
Twitter Lists for CMOs
To stay up-to-date on the latest marketing and advertising trends and news, here are four Twitter Lists that CMOs should follow:

Advertising & Marketing: This mashup of advertising and marketing pros is another TLists SuperList and pulls from nearly 1,500 Twitter Lists to round up the 250 most listed tweeters updating about digital marketing, advertising campaigns, mobile strategy, SEO, branding and more. Averaging around 4,000 tweets a day, this List is perfect for staying up-to-date on the advertising and marketing industries.
CMO: COO of Miles Jennings, curates this expansive List of over 200 marketing executives and CMOs. Follow this List to see what your fellow CMOs are working on and reading.
Marketing: If TLists’ SuperList of 250 tweeters isn’t big enough for you, check out this List of over 400 marketing, networking, advertising and social media promotion experts. Curated by Peter Urbanski, a web developer and designer based in Columbus, Ohio, this List should satisfy your hunger for the latest marketing-focused content.
Advertising: FutureClaw Magazine, a fashion, art, and culture publication, maintains the largest Twitter List specific to advertising with nearly 500 tweeters from advertising backgrounds including creative agencies, media planners, and marketers of all kinds.
Twitter Lists for CTOs & CIOs
Amidst the sea of tech-related Twitter Lists, there are quite a few gems worth checking. Here are some of our top picks for technology Lists that CTOs and CIOs may find of interest:

Most Influential in Tech: Video blogger and tech enthusiast Robert Scoble has interviewed over 3,200 geeks throughout the years, so we take his recommendations on techies pretty seriously. This List brings together over 200 of the most respected and influential tech executives. As Scoble puts it, these movers and shakers “make stuff happen in and to the technology industry.”
Technology: Yet another TLists SuperList, this tech-focused List compiles the most listed tweeters on 377 lists about technology. Follow it to stay fresh on tech news and trends.
Tech Company Execs: Also curated by Scoble, this List is composed of over 400 C-level execs from a range of companies, both small and large.
CIO/CTO/Directors/Techies: Andy Lymburner, IT director at Babson College, must have put a lot of time into creating this list of nearly 500 technology professionals from a variety of industries. The conversation in this List revolves around tech, cloud computing, data and security.
CIO: Produced by IT professional Jason Sparrow, this List includes over 400 Twitter accounts, including news sources, such as and CIO Talkradio, as well as CIOs from across the world.
For a more comprehensive look at tech-driven Twitter Lists, check out Barb Dybwad’s recommendations for 10 Twitter Lists for IT pros to follow.

Twitter Lists for CFOs
CFOs need the most current information in order to smoothly operate their company. Here are three lists that can help keep CFOs privy to the latest financial news, analysis and information:

Finance & Insurance: For a collection of the best resources and experts, check out TLists’ Finance & Insurance SuperList, which compiles over 200 of the most listed tweeters on 335 lists about finance and insurance. Conversation is quite focused on this list, including topics like accounting, insurance, taxes and legislative decisions.
WSJ Staff: For the latest business news and financial chatter, follow this comprehensive list of reporters, editors and columnists from The Wall Street Journal, curated by the publication itself.
CFOs: Curated by Frank Mullens, CFO and COO at Marketing Innovations International, a promotional and retail merchandise manufacturer, this List brings together 300 CFOs on Twitter.
These 15 Twitter Lists for C-suite executives are great starters or additions to any Twitter List collection. Let us know which Lists you are following to stay up on current events, trends, news and analysis in your industry in the comments below.