How to ACE Social Media: Alignment, Control, and Engagement

After joining @waynesutton and @calliekuhn for the NC State Social Media class (which is a full-time semester course by the way), I felt compelled to summarize some of the key thoughts you hear everywhere you go regarding social media.  Through leading marketing and sales messaging trainings over the years, I always try to condense the key points to three or less or have an acronym.  With that concept, I’d like to talk about how you can ACE your social media campaign, efforts, or initiatives.

A is for Alignment

If you don’t understand the scope of how many social media sites, outlets, or communities there are, click here and scroll down.  InsideCRM even has a list of 50 Social Media Sites Every Business Needs a Presence On.  Fifty.  Most companies fail with one social media site.  With no disrespect to that article, it is a challenge for most companies to find the time and resources to have a presence in every applicable place.  I love social media and I’m passionate about it, but I fail to keep some of my profiles current.  I’m not perfect, but I focus on my main networks: my blog, my Twitter (@cnmoody), my LinkedIn, and my Facebook (personal not professional).  Those networks help identify my personal brand and help others understand more about me and what I can bring to the table.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” -Thoreau

I ask this all the time, but what is your goal?  What is the strategy for using social media?  Your efforts and the outlets you choose to have a presence in should be perfectly aligned with your goals.  It is extremely difficult to have a presence in every place and alignment is the key to determining the path forward.  If Facebook doesn’t fit into the corporate social media strategy, don’t do it.  Having a stagnant profile on 42 of 50 sites is not a good thing.

C is for Control

@waynesutton discussed this a lot at NC State.  Inevitably, there is some loss of control in the nature of social media, but you must maintain control of your voice and the things in your power to control.  Social media policies are needed!  Everyone needs to be on the same page and understand the consequences of not filtering the things they do or say on social media networks.  Social media is real-time and instant and many times, folks forget that what they do and say online is visible to tons of people no matter what your privacy setting is.  We are conditioned to limit what we do or say in the workplace because we understand the consequences.  Posting ignorant tweets or blog posts is no different even if you do have anonymity, but remember, even if you are anonymous…if you do or say the wrong thing, you will be exposed.  Check this Google search if you doubt me.

What an individual says and does can directly impact how they are perceived and how their company is perceived.  Control the outward message and maintain trust in your networks.

Please look at Wayne’s topics to avoid and create an internal filter whether your company has a posting policy or not.

E is for Engagement

Find ways to get others involved.  It is that simple.  You chose social media because you want engagement, don’t neglect that fact.  What you do and say in social media should never be one sided.  Only promoting your brand on Twitter is equivalent to standing in Times Square with a megaphone screaming “Buy my widget!”  The winners and experienced social media practitioners understand this, live this, and breath this.  Build a community, foster that community, love that community, and understand their needs.  By doing that you can provide a better product, service, or message because you understand what your community is looking for.  Get them engaged!  Look at the companies that do this right, I believe you will know a few of them…

Remember ACE: Align your efforts, Control your message, Engage your community.