You may understand the technology of social networks, but is that what you care for? Are you platform agnostic or does it matter to you a great deal whether you are posting to Facebook or Linkedin?
Chris Brogan & Julien Smith in their book, The Impact Equation, talk about the equation that should be the all-important one while assessing engagements and gauging connections made. This is how they define it:
C = Contrast: When an idea hits a person, it has to be similar to an idea already experienced and yet it has to be different enough to be noticed.
R = Reach: The higher the number of people one can connect with, the more influential the idea propagated, becomes.
E = Exposure: While Reach is about the number of people one can connect with, exposure is about frequency i.e. how often one connects with them.
A = Articulation: Is an idea diffuse and all over the place or is it precise and sharp as a sword, cutting through the fog and hitting exactly in the right place?
T = Trust: Is the person propagating the thought or the idea, taken at his or her word, that is, trusted?
E = Echo: This is all about the feeling of connection that the person propagating a concept, thought or idea, gives his reader, visitor or participant.
In many cases, when one inquires about how the social media programme is coming along, one often hears about being active on Facebook and possibly Twitter and some other SM network, about having accumulated a good number of 'Likes' on Facebook and an equal number of followers on Twitter and about having organized a content calendar stretching several months ahead. What most people don't quite realize is that having a Facebook Page or a Twitter account is like having a printer, a tool that needs a purpose to be there in the first place. All this doesn't quite add up to a strategy, its merely a series of tactics.
Unless businesses are engaged in building social media strategies which are aligned with their business goals and objectives, there is no way the business can ever hope to be a social business. A successful social media strategy is defined as the deep integration of social media and social methodologies into the organization to drive business impact. Top executives of the organization also need to be informed, engaged and aligned with their companies social media strategy.
Brian Solis defines the seven success factors of social business strategy as:
- Defining the overall business goals
- Establishing the long-term vision
- Ensuring executive support
- Defining the strategy roadmap and identifying initiatives
- Establishing governance and guidelines
- Securing staff, resources and funding.
- Investing in technology platforms that support the greater vision and objectives.
As a recent IBM study clearly establishes, a social business headed by a social CEO is, in a large majority of cases, more competitive and profitable than a more traditional business.