Social media have reconfigured the ground rules of strategic communications. Once dominated by press releases distributed to targeted journalists, information often flows from the "bottom-up" today as new social platforms enable individuals to post, share and most importantly, curate the information released by others.
Our experience shows that enaging with social media is a widely accepted practice by most of our clients, who can usually find the resources to initiate a Twitter feed or create a LinkedIn page for their department, organization or institution. But the relative simplicity of initiating a social media presence becomes rapidly overwhelmed by the complexity of maintaining one. What seemed like an easy enough exercise that a junior communications associate or intern could manage quickly becomes weighed down by demands for new content, negative engagement from followers, or simply a lack of interest or traction. Even more importantly, limited staff resources start to be diverted from other activities to social media ones, often without a broader strategy for how, and why, social media has a role to play in the overall communications strategy.
Witnessing this cycle propelled us to develop a framework to help clients think about why, if at all, social media belongs as part of their communications strategy and if it does, what are they ways to track and measure its success. Underlying our approach is the concept of creating modules of different social media sites so that efforts across different platforms can be compared to each other and then optimized. Often this basic approach quickly reveals to clients that in fact, one platform dramatically outperforms another, directing them to focus resources there. From this starting point, our framework enables clients to understand how to measure social media impact, and then benchmark their efforts against others in their sector or industry, as well as seeing the return on investment from campaigns.
True to the medium, we created a short video to better explain this approach to social media. Take a watch and let us know what you think!