No social media strategy, if done thoughtfully, is easy. But when you have to scale across a global enterprise, taking into account multiple product lines, services and the various different types of customers and prospects – well, things can get really complicated.
Luckily for all of us, we have the advice Ekaterina Walter and Bryan Rhoads, both members of Intel’s Social Media Center of Excellence. The duo penned a chapter in our highly popular Social Media ProBook that’s so rich in knowledge, we decided to share their wisdom here.
1. Get Organized
If you want your social media marketing plan to bloom, you have to water it carefully. In other words, if you want your social media strategy to scale across the company, you need support from the very top down to the people who manage your communities day-to-day. Intel practices a hub-and-spoke model, where one team sets the global social media strategy, interfaces with marketing, establishes policies and guidelines, and enables others across the company to act as Social Media Practitioners (SMPs).
2. Be an Enabler
Your goal should be to encourage, rather than scare off, those who want to engage on behalf of the brand through social media channels. To do so, you need to provide guidance at the start and keep communication consistent. We provide employees who want to serve as SMPs with requisite classes, a set of guidelines, and regular communication, like a monthly newsletter.
3. Build an Infrastructure
Even the most educated and talented employees are at a loss if you don’t have the tools to do the job. (Imagine the best ditch digger without a shovel.) Investigate and invest in tools for social media monitoring, publishing and tracking ROI over time.
4. Replicate and Conquer
With time, you’ll be able to uncover which social media strategies work and which don’t. Replicate what works and remove barriers to entry for faster adoption. For instance, Intel had a central Facebook page in English, but limited International presence on the social networking hub. We created a center for governance, guidelines, training and tools that made it possible to replicate in 45 countries.
5. If You Fail, Fail Fast
There are tons of social platforms and applications today. There will be even more tomorrow. It’s okay to experiment and fail. But if you do fail, do it quickly. Set the objectives for your social media marketing plan at the start and measure against them to understand what’s working.
6. Be an Inspiration
Social media marketing is a marathon, not a race. That’s why it’s so encouraging to have people cheering you on. Your enthusiasm and inspiration are what will keep your organization engaged. Be sure to communicate it often through internal channels.
7. Delight Your Audience
Doing something new and different sounds simple, but it takes hard work. You need to find ways to shake things up and surprise your customers and prospects. Often, partnering with others can help inspire you. For the Museum of Me project, Intel partnered with a smaller Japanese agency.
Have a crisis communications team prepped and ready to step in when a situation arises. Have listening tools in place so you can chart trends and discussions. Your social media marketing plan needs to chart out a proper strategy for dealing with issues in real-time.
For even more comprehensive advice on scaling your social media strategy, and for advice from 18 other experts, download the Social Media ProBook here.