Social Media Strategy and Change

In an answer to a LinkedIn question about the definition of Social Media Strategy I answered that we accomodate constantly changing needs and embed them into our Social Media Strategy by defining Strategy as the point at the intersection of Goals, Metrics and Resources.

Flexible Social Media Strategy 

Typically Social Media ‘strategy’ focuses on selling though it is easy to apply Social Media investments to many corporate, profit or not-for profit, NGO or political places and spaces.  Regardless of the venue or business, once the Strategy target is set (Goal, Metrics, Resources) we create relationship maps of People, Process (work) and Content.

Once we determine strategic relationships we then consider Value outcomes of our Social Media Strategy.  Value is different than our Goals though it may also be included in our use of Metrics.  High quality customer relationships is an example of a Value.

Understanding how customers rank Value and then linking it back to our Strategy allows us to work with our next two elements; Content and Learning.

 
Content and Learning

Content takes customers or other value chain partners to the Value that we deliver and helps us learn and deliver learning across our value stream, including our customers. Innovation and market success depends on our ability to understanding learning requirements and deliver them as part of our Value.

Social Media Strategy is only as good as your ability to help people find the relationships they need between People, Work and Content. Learning supports the ability to innovate and ensure that the content is learned to the benefit of value chain partners and customers.

 
Social Media and the Social Graph

Silicon Valley insiders employ the concept of ‘Social Graph’ to Social Media evaluations though it is a ‘command and control’ concept where it is assumed that relationships are fixed. Twitter’s Resonance business model is much better as community members can create temporary relationships and with this we get to our ‘secret’ strategic ingredient–perspective.

We allow our customers or other value chain partners to take any perspective according to their needs. During one social interaction a person may look like one market segment and during another they may look like another–behaviour flexibility matter more than fixed market segments or social graphs where everything is a commodity.

Currently it appears that Twitter’s software platform offers better value faster and from multiple perspectives to community members and so our Strategy starts with Twitter though this may change.

Why do we start with software? It is easier to anchor customer presentations and compare value delivered by other Social Media platforms and advertising campaigns to Twitter’s software and Advertising Resonance model. It is a solid benchmark even if the client need takes us in a different direction whether we employ Social Media for marketing, advertising or deliver other value to value stream partners or even internally for innovation or manufacturing support.

Social Media Behaviours and Infrastructure Investments

Another hidden value offered by a good Social Media Strategy is the ability to understand shifting customer or market behaviours and helping infrastructure projects move forward profitably. Wireless providers typically have a long cycle for infrastructure investments, one which is longer than new product introductions and perhaps new customer behaviours that move from heavy voice use to heavy SMS and video use.

Part of all of our client Social Media Strategy analysis is linking current products and customer behaviours to infrastructure deployments.

Once we understand markets are diverging from the value delivered during a deployment we map the new behaviours, hop back into the POS or BI warehouses to adjust demand models, compare anticipated demand to value delivered with future infrastructure and then jump back outside to tune marketing advertising programs to incent or dis-incent behaviours and align customer demand to upcomming infrastructure deliver as much as possible.

This reduces both infrastructure and market risk and ideally our recommendation would be to provide contractual amendment suggestions so that suppliers might shift what they deliver to adjust even more.

Baby steps first.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Nick

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