SINK OR SWIM: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU STAY AFLOAT


The 2011 article, “What’s Your Social Media Strategy?” by H. James Wilson, PJ Guinan, Salvatore Parise and Bruce D. Weinberg  in the Harvard Business Review examines social media strategies that are most commonly used by successful businesses on their social media platforms. After conducting research and interviews with more than 1,000 companies world wide, the authors break social media strategy into four typologies: The Predictive Practitioner, The Creative Experimenter, The Social Media Champion, and The Social Media Transformer. Based on a company’s specific business and media objectives, they are advised to follow a plan employed by a certain typology.

The Predictive Practitioner, for instance, focuses mainly on a single area of social media such as customer service. It is a strategy that has easily measurable results and revolves around asking questions of stakeholders and involving them in the company’s production of the actual goods and services it provides. The Creative Experimenter, on the other hand, is not as concrete in its measurable results.  It is centered around creating new platforms or trying new trends that are risky in terms of being successful. While companies employing this strategy are not overly concerned with the outcome, their objective is to learn from the “experiments” and through listening to stakeholders on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. The Social Media Champion is large scale, classic, and predictable in terms of results. It may involve the use of external parties and revolves around a planned campaign that closely resembles a traditional marketing campaign. This typology identifies enthusiasts of the brand and engages those with a large sphere of influence on social networking platforms. Finally, the Social Media Transformer seeks to build trust with their publics and is often used among internal stakeholders. Those who employ this strategy have broader social objectives and work to “transform” media platforms into something unique or specific for their company. The authors cite this strategy as one of the most difficult to master.

The information provided by the authors is valuable for businesses in determining what best practices should be employed in their social media strategy. After a careful analysis of a company’s objectives and resources, a clear springboard is provided for those who are unsure what route to go when taking their business to Web 2.0.

In a 2012 article from Smartblogs.com, “How To Command Attention With Your Content on Facebook,” by Emma-Julie Fox, Fox highlights helpful tips and guidelines for companies choosing to utilize Facebook as a marketing tool.  These tips especially compliment those outlined in the Predictive Practitioner and Social Media Champion typologies. Fox suggests creating and maintaining a brand or business fan page on Facebook since nearly everyone on the planet has an account. It is up to the company to decide if a third party is needed to optimize the page. It is imperative to track the brand page feedback so that those responsible for maintenance know what the publics of the company are most interested in clicking on. According to Fox, the company Facebook page should have something for everyone. In other words, the page should contain a balanced mix of images, videos, plain text, and links to outside articles or sources. The most interesting piece of advice is the idea that posts related to the company’s industry – but not directly involving company products or services – often receive the most clicks or “likes.” The goal of a Facebook page should be to recreate the business’ “atmosphere” on Web 2.0.  Clearly evaluating company objectives and goals in terms of media strategy before establishing tactics such as Facebook pages enable a best practice that provides distinct results and reduces risk with company presence online.

-Jen Parravani

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~ by goodpackagedconsumers on September 15, 2012.