RonAmok!

The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.
Dec 9, 2010
Feel free to download a blank copy of the One Page Strategy Document for your social media planning

It seems that every year, another “social media” channel emerges that demands our attention. 2010 is no different with the increased popularity of “location-based services” such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places and Google Places. Unfortunately, because of their cost (free), most companies blindly add these new channels pell-mell into their communications mix as opposed to determining how to integrate them into their overall strategy.

As someone who has been in business for almost 30 years, I’ve probably seen every combination and permutation of so-called “strategy development.” Most of the time, the activity consists of an over-thought process that culminates in the release of a bloated and incoherent tome. Since I prefer simple-elegance over complex-masterpieces, I’ve developed the little table below for you.

Channel Objective Audience Content
Your Web site      
Blog      
Podcast      
Youtube      
Facebook Fan Page      
Twitter      
Email      
Location-based services      
Wikipedia      
LinkedIn      
Personal Networks      
Traditional Channels
     

Don’t be fooled by its simple design. By completing it, you will:

  • have an overall corporate communications strategy that you can explain to anyone, from the big boss to your eager interns
  • have articulated a reason for each new/social media channel chosen
  • understand the type of content that needs to inhabit each channel
  • be able to delegate content-development tasks appropriately
  • see how each channel fits within the overall communications mix
  • be able to determine metrics for individual channels and for the overall strategy
  • be able to determine whether to add yet another channel–or perhaps more importantly, be able to eliminate one.

The table’s four columns are labeled: channel, objective, audience, and content. Use them to organize thoughts around your corporate communications goals. It’s pre-populated with channel ideas, but of course since every company is different, yours will differ.

Channel: The name of the particular content distribution network. Channels may include your traditional ones (PR, marketing, advertising), corporate new media channels, or even the personal network channels of your fans, customers, and employees.

Objective: The ultimate goal of this channel. What do you plan to accomplish? For example, your objective for a blog may be to write niche content on how to use your products and services so that search engines can bring qualified prospects seeking that information directly to your website.

Audience: The people who subscribe to that channel. Great content creators understand their audiences. Since each distribution channel has its own unique audience, what do they have in common? For example, with a podcast, your audience probably has its hands and eyes occupied, but their ears are free. The podcast channel allows content creators help consumers make good use of this time whether they are driving, exercising or mowing the lawn.

Content: The information/stories that are custom-developed for that channel. Once you understand the channel’s objective and audience, you’re ready to start creating channel-matched content. For example, Twitter–loves real-time information. Foursquare loves location-based information. Your blog, which is more of a long-tail channel, loves more thoughtful information that can be indexed by the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Your job is to match the content with the audience and objective of each channel.

Finally, when you’ve completed a first draft of this table, take a step back and study it. Look at all of your channels in context with one another. Although some overlap will occur between audience and content, there should be distinct differences also.

Now ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do all of the channels play together?
  • Are they organized into a cohesive unit, or are they separately driven channels with no link to an overall mission?
  • What are the holes?
  • What are the redundancies?

When you’re finished with the first revision, show it to colleagues. Can you explain it to them? Do they have any other thoughts to add? By the time you’re finished with your final revision, you’ll have a simple, elegant, and powerful document that will help your company execute its 2011 communications plan.

And there’s one final benefit to this simple little table. The next time someone pulls you aside and asks, “So, why are we investing all of this time and money into social media?,” rather than waxing poetically about the virtues of Twitter and Facebook,  pull out this document and say, “That’s easy; let me show you.”

Feel free to download a blank copy of the One Page Strategy Document for your social media planning

Photo Credit: ldrose

Filed under: Social Media

Comments

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Storer and CB Whittemore, Ron Ploof. Ron Ploof said: Can you explain your entire corporate social media Strategy on one page? Try this http://bit.ly/hNevlO […]

Tweets that mention RonAmok! » Strategy Made Simple -- Topsy.com
December 9, 2010

I like this article because it adopts a common sense approach. Talking to potential clients I have often heard comments like “we need to do social media” without them knowing what they are trying to achieve with it.
Some traditional channels such as press releases can be effectively used for B2B with targeted online distribution which enhances search engine visibility as well as getting news to relevant sites.

Roddy
December 17, 2010

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