Posted in marketing, online community, web business

Communicators press ahead with social media without a clear idea of strategy

Less than one-third of professional communicators surveyed feel confident about using social media as part of an integrated communication strategy, according to research by Melcrum .

Yet despite the lack of understanding revealed by the global study, many are going ahead with setting up tools inside their organizations — some 60 percent of organizations will have some form of social media in place by the end of 2007, according to a new Melcrum report titled “How to use social media to engage employees.”

The report combines key findings from a global study of social media and corporate communication, with case-study examples and advice on how to develop a social media strategy, launch new tools — such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and social networks — and monitor their progress.

Based on the experiences of organizations such as BT, IBM, American Electric Power (AEP) and Nortel, the report identifies issues that communicators should consider when developing a social media strategy, including:

— Assess your organization’s cultural readiness.
— Think about the business purpose of the tools.
— Be experimental and involve employees.
— Clarify what employees can and can’t do.
— Take a hands-off approach to marketing the tools.

According to the 2,100 corporate communicators respondents, the top perceived benefits for implementing social media tools are the following:

1. Improved employee engagement (71 percent).
2. Improved internal collaboration (59 percent).
3. Improved internal community development (51 percent).
4. Improved two-way dialogue with senior executives (42 percent).

Even though this sounds like it was more about internal use of social media, you could change “employees” to “fans” and “senior executives” to “company” or “brand” and it could count for B2C communities.

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Joi Podgorny has spent the better part of the past 2 decades working on the bleeding edge of the technology and entertainment industries, from content/brand development and production to leading international support, moderation, community and social teams. Most recently, Joi founded Good People Collective, a consulting agency focused on helping companies and organizations establish, assess and pivot their internal and external cultures to help maximize their potential. She and her team are currently working on an exciting new software project, combining corporate training and virtual reality.

2 thoughts on “Communicators press ahead with social media without a clear idea of strategy

  1. Hi Joi,

    Thanks for your post about Melcrum’s survey results and new report.

    I think you’re right that our findings are relevant to practically all organisations – they show that to avoid getting left behind companies are already using or planning to implement social media tools in the next few months.

    This is something that we should all be aware of and be planning in our own social media strategies. Melcrum are giving away the first chapter, ‘Strategy,’ of our new report, How to use social media to engage employees, for free. Download it now:

    Coralie Thomson

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