posted on: 4/20/2012 3:53:50 AM EST
5 Step Approach To Social Business marketing
5 Step Approach To Social Business

 VISIT WEBSITE (learn more)

1. Discovery
In any consulting project, there needs to be a discovery phase. This is basically a time to gather as much intelligence about the organization as possible i.e. structure, historical insights, marketing and business objectives, etc. This will also involve interviews with key stakeholders, customers and partners in order to best understand the organizational culture, communication workflows, collaboration platforms and other relevant information that will help gather clarity about the business.

In the above example, there are two core issues at hand – the absence of a social media policy and internal teams not communicating. This could potentially result in two parallel work streams happening simultaneously.

This phase is by far the most important of the five. There will be push back and conflict is unavoidable, because change is difficult. It is uncomfortable. It is during this phase that that the consultant must earn the trust and respect of each stakeholder within the organization. This involves listening with empathy, and not making any judgments about the organization, its culture and/or processes.

The ability to tell stories and selling in ideas is just as critical. This requires a consultant to have people skills necessary to quickly establish rapport, develop a connection, listen without prejudice and quickly develop trust. Quite simply, people skills like this encompass the ability to interact with others in a manner that makes them feel comfortable and secure, where they know their opinions matter.

2. Situation Analysis

A situation analysis is a method used to analyze both the internal and external business climate of any organization in order to better understand the firm’s organizational and functional capabilities, customers and the general business landscape. According to the American Marketing Association, a situation analysis is “the systematic collection and study of past and present data to identify trends, forces, and conditions with the potential to influence the performance of the business and the choice of appropriate strategies.” This could very well include the 5Cs Analysis, the traditional SWOT analysis, Porter five forces analysis or a combination of all three.

In this example, an in depth analysis of the firm’s social media channels will be required. This if often referred to as a conversation audit (or social audit) and will include a close examination of each channel to determine:

type of content shared
frequency of content shared
size and growth rate of community
community activity (are they engaged?)
competitive audit

Also, it will be extremely important to find out “who” within the organization owns each of these external communities. Not always that easy in large, global firms. A solid understanding of how these teams communicate is also important to better understand the culture i.e. frequency of meetings, agenda items, technology used, etc.

In parallel, an analysis of employees’ social media accounts will be in order. This will determine a) what needs to be addressed in the social media policy and b) the training curriculum and certification for employees before they are unleashed on the intrawebs.

3. Planning

The planning phase is where the real work will start. In some cases, this will include a set of recommendations, for example, shutting down certain social channels where the concept of “community” is non-existent, no internal community manager (owner), duplicated community or an unclear content strategy.

In the above example, much of the planning could involve the following:

Working with internal teams such as marketing, support, legal, human resources (and in some cases employees that are already active in social channels) to co-create a social media policy
Social Media Training curriculum development, delivery method, technology platform recommendations and implementation plan
Content strategy (type of content, frequency, day parting, moderation): this may also include how content is created, curated, aggregated, managed and stored internally between cross functional and global teams
Escalation workflow, specifically for customer support issues and crisis management
The establishment of a collaboration architecture: identification of key stakeholders with clearly defined roles, collaboration method, technology recommendation
Creative development of a global Facebook architecture, if applicable

Planning deliverables will usually be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, unfortunately.

4. Implementation

Much of the implementation phase will be dependent on the outcomes of the planning. For instance, once the social media policy is finalized it will be important to evangelize and share the policy internally. This would have to be done with sensitivity and empathy, ensuring that the establishment of a social media policy is not perceived as a “big brother” type of initiative.

Additionally, once the training curriculum has been approved by the clients, a roll out implementation plan would be the next step. This could be done by job function, region or department. Technology deployment will also play a critical role assuming there is an online learning component to the training.

Implementing and executing a more cohesive, meaningful and relevant content strategy would be an integral part of this phase. Depending on the agreement, execution could be done either by the consulting agency (if they have the capability) or through internal marketing and community management teams. In either case, much of this phase will rest upon the development of a consistent measurement framework across the entire organization.

5. Measurement

The most difficult and often neglected step in the consulting process is measurement. Many times, when a project is successful, stakeholders in the organization are inclined to celebrate their successes and exaggerate its accomplishments. If it fails, the same stakeholders often run for cover and assign the blame to someone else, including the consultant.

It’s undoubtedly difficult to measure some projects, especially the ones that involve behavior change. In the above example, however, measurement can be attributed to whether a project was completed (i.e. social media policy documented, published and shared) or quantifying the number of employees in the organization that completed the training. A parallel measurement framework must be established to measure the effectiveness of the content strategy. This may or may not be the responsibility of the consultant, depending on the terms of the contract.

The other difficulty with measurement is accountability. True organizational and behavior change cannot be held over a consultant’s head. Company leadership is ultimately responsible for driving this change. It’s the consultant’s job t0 facilitate the change.

That being said, most measurement questions will revolve around the following:

How has this project impacted the organization? Are behaviors beginning to change? Are employees following process?
What has changed externally as a result of this project?
What have we learned from this project?

The most important element of this phase is coming to a mutual agreement very early on with the client about what will be measured and what success will look like. And that conversation should happen on day one.

BUSINESS OWNER COMMENTS:     leave comment
  ** You need to be a member of IBOtoolbox to comment. Click Here to create free account.
Adrian Frank   1201 day(s) ago
GREAT Press Release, Charles, fellow Empower Network-er! See ya in Austin, TX where we will RELEASE our Inner BA$$! GO EMPOWER NETWORK!!! Thanks for sharing, so back to da top with ya! God bless! :D
MIKE DIALS   1390 day(s) ago
Great points you make in your blog Charles! Thanks for sharing! ;)
Anna Zurzinovic   1391 day(s) ago
Nice blog,
Dennis Thorgesen   1391 day(s) ago
This blog contains the important elements needed for both large and small businesses. Talking about measuring outcome and a mutual agreement are a must in the first meeting.

  Facebook member comments

  Select a press release to view
3/30/2013  Luck Is The Product Of Design – Get To The Next Event
3/30/2013  Put Down The Phone And Pick Up The Paycheck
3/21/2013  Four Simple Steps That Will Change Your Life
3/21/2013  Be Yourself – You Are Welcome Here
3/4/2013  This is Your Opportunity To Build A Wildly Profitable Business an
2/28/2013  “Men Are A-Hole Pigs” – The Awful Truth
2/28/2013  Scheming in Urinals While Dissecting the Secrets that Motivate Wo
2/26/2013  Dawn of the Vampire Slayers
2/26/2013  Stretch For The Irrational – How to “Crack the Universe”
2/18/2013  Motor Club Of America
2/18/2013  The 4 Dangers Destroying Men Today
2/15/2013  How To Get Buckets Of Hands Free Traffic And Explode Your Sales I
11/29/2012  Motor Club of America - MCA Business Model Review
11/5/2012  How “Daily Audio” and Empower Network’s Inner Circle Audios Can C
9/17/2012  INSIDE! Newbie defies ALL odds and rises up from the ashes to mak
7/31/2012  LIVE hangout: “How To Make $30,000 Monthly – From People Who ACTU
7/28/2012  How To Grow Through Promotional Cycles, and Make a ‘Sting’ in the
7/23/2012  We are THE PEOPLE… And this is WHY we do what we do :)
7/21/2012  High School Dropout Makes $94,000 In 60 Days Online…
7/18/2012  Tracey Walker Has Her First $4,800 Day, By Posting Her Story In A
7/16/2012  VICTORY! She lies in bed, CURLED in pain from spinal disease – an
7/13/2012  Win $35,000 CASH in our New Affiliate Contest, July 10th – Septem
7/12/2012  How To PAY YOUR MORTGAGE by Blogging… (video proof)
7/10/2012  Why 2 ex-homeless guys want to GIVE AWAY $35,000 CASH (story insi
7/8/2012  HOW we got 34,003 Paid Customers OUR FIRST 7 months…
7/8/2012  Let’s Lock Arms, And Fight The Forces of Evil…
7/7/2012  How Empower Network Is Creating A ‘Prosperity Virus’
7/5/2012  rogress, Belief, and RUTHLESS Income Creation
7/3/2012  What I learned from a personal TRAGEDY and why it’s SO URGENT to
6/28/2012  How To Live Anywhere, CREATE FREEDOM, and Join The ‘New Rich’
6/24/2012  How To Start Earning 100% Commissions Today
6/16/2012  How To Get Ready For A MASSIVE SHIFT In Atlanta
5/14/2012  Meet two leaders that want YOU to get to the top…
5/7/2012  Funny story :) (Which would YOU rather have?)
5/3/2012  9 Ways Facebook Is Changing People’s Lives
4/27/2012  Should you join Empower Network? Here’s some answers to common ob
4/23/2012  A Marketing System for people who like to be LAZY :-D
4/20/2012  5 Step Approach To Social Business marketing
4/16/2012  The power of 5
4/14/2012  $99 OneXpro Pays Huge DividendS
4/8/2012  "Everyone’s Always Wondered How A 20-Something Year Old Kid Went
4/6/2012  "How I Sponsor 10 to 20 Reps Every Single Month Without Fear."
4/4/2012  Make Fast Money Online With OneX/QLXchange - Home Based Business
4/3/2012  The Mlm Insider secrets Report
3/31/2012   the best MLM Marketing System.
3/29/2012  buildingonabudget
3/29/2012  magneticsponsoring
3/28/2012  Two Ways to Position Yourself As An Expert And Attract Leads To Y
3/28/2012  The 7 Secrets of Wealth Creation E-Book
3/25/2012  7 STEP 2 SUCCESS
3/25/2012  QLXchange/