Wrapping it Up – Visible Social Resolutions for 2011 Part Five

This is the final post in a five-part series following up on our January 11, 2011 Webcast about Social Resolutions for 2011 (watch here).  My colleagues covered a lot of great info already so I thought it might be helpful to do a brief review of the information they covered but add a slight twist on the information with a social media data and monitoring tool perspective.

The first focus for our resolutions has to do with the Enterprise.  Being social at the enterprise level.  Not just your team, your department or a single employee, but being social across your entire organization.  In our 5 plus years experience dealing with enterprises and social media, it is extremely common to see a small department set aside some budget to “try” social media and then others in the company start catching on until it grows across the enterprise.

This approach works, but the smarter more successful social companies work to break down the silos and involve as many departments and groups as possible from the start.  They work out a plan.  They develop a system to manage workflow and internal communication,  integrating multiple systems with their Social Monitoring Platform to make sure multiple employees don’t engage with the same customers and ensuring critical discoveries and opportunities don’t fall through the cracks because the right folks weren’t involved.

It seems obvious and maybe even trite to say “be clear about your social media goals” but it is so important to establishing useful metrics, creating accountability and identifying the difference between a successful social program and a flop.  Of course, it should be easy to clearly define what those goals are and more importantly what realistic expectations should be.  But the reality is that it can be very difficult with all of the data out there.

Remember to focus on Quality rather than Quantity. Analyze everything so you can:

  • Be strategic and targeted and focus ONLY on the social areas that matter most to your business.
  • Establish and use metrics to track your progress, your campaigns, your social servicing.
  • Take advantage of the social media monitoring platforms on the market like Visible Intelligence.  There are some handy free tools out there but if you are looking for an enterprise-ready solution, then take the time to investigate and find a capable and experienced technology partner like Visible Technologies with proven success in the industry and the ability to serve as true social strategic partners.
  • Use these tools to optimize every channel, extend your offline campaigns, help you target, refine your messaging, engage with prospects and customers.

Finally, I saved my favorite resolutions for last.  These are the ones that make it all happen, create momentum, require trusting your gut and keep you in check with a dose of what’s important.  Think long term and act in the moment.  Do the analysis, track the metrics, keep the big picture in mind but don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis!  Ideas and plans have to be acted on to become successes!

Know who matters and why. Influencers are very important and can provide message mileage and credibility that you just can’t pay for.  But don’t forget about the authors that don’t have the massive Twitter followers and a plethora of Facebook friends.  There are plenty of valuable customers talking in communities who can benefit from your actions, information and encouragement whose influence is significant in a targeted ecosystem online and offline.

Be transparent and absolutely honest. Be genuine.  Remember when something going on your “permanent record” was a really good or really bad thing in school when we were growing up?  Social media is your after school “permanent record”.  Enough said.

Finally, take risks and fail fast forward. One of my favorite quotes comes from Thomas Edison about his failures when working on his inventions that I think really puts this last resolution in perspective, “Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward…..“

Make 2011 the year you move forward, taking risks, taking a couple failures on the chin, achieving more successes and harnessing the power of Social Media for your enterprise!