After three years we are updating our methodology set. While our methods are all technology independent and don’t need an update whenever a new tool comes in or one goes out, we still fine tune our methodology set.
What has changed
1) Presence Management
Managing a social presence has grown to a very critical point that we call it now strategic. While in the past years defining and managing the social presence was a rather easy task – it has grown in complexity in just the last two years. Today almost every department has their own page on Facebook, their own twitter account in parallel to personal accounts and the same for Pinterest, Facebook or LinkedIn groups and so forth. In addition, businesses realized the enormous brand power their teams can contribute when more and more of their employees are getting active. The presence related questions that need to be answered include:
Q1: Who in a company should be able to create any kind of presence?
Some businesses are very liberal and decide everybody is encouraged to do everything – the more action the better. Others are of opposite opinion and have only one person does everything and provide rules how to use them. And everything in between. Unfortunately asking what’s best for the customer is not always happening.
Q2: How much should/could the personal presence of the team mates intermingle with the brand presence?
Also here the current range is from complete mix to no mix at all. This question is even more complicated because it touches the personal area of the employee and the interaction model with the customer. But clearly the more (business)friends one has the more successful they are.
Q3: How many presences do we have to have?
There is a natural tendency to “the less the better” mainly to make it easier to keep control. Yet a business has to be where the customers are and that has serious implications on the selection of the ever growing number of presences. Now taking in consideration that over 65% of businesses conduct sales through distribution partner, dealer, broker and reseller, it becomes even more challenging to create a sound and compelling presence strategy.
Q4: How important is a brand presence
Given that social media is all about relationships and rapid interaction, winning mind share and making customers to advocates etc. none of that is happening with the legal entity or the brand but with the people that represent that brand as employees. As such there need to be an answer to the actual brand presence and how is it constructed.
Q5: How do we measure the presence performance
Following the old rule: only what you can measure you can manage, the presence performance need to be measured. But what are the key performance indicator for a presence. How can we increase the presence performance? Larger brands may actually have hundreds of presences world wide and given the effort maintaining them, presence performance reporting is important.
There are roughly ten more key questions that need to be answered – in any case enough to make it a strategic effort to do this right. As such we put the experience from the projects from the last year into that new “Social Presence Methodology“. The presence methodology describes how to deal with those questions in the various situation.
2) The Strategy Hexagon
In order to add Social Presence Management to our Strategy Hexagon, we merged Goals & Missions into one element and made room for Social Presence Strategy (see above). In the sequence of the strategy development we put the Presence Management after Actions & Programs and before resources and budgets. Our recent experience in projects showed that once the programs are defined we can decide what are the best presences are to execute those programs. The result of those decisions obviously affect the budget and resource side and as such we put it before that part.
3) SMS Team
We only renamed the previously called “ComStar” model to what most of us call it in our day to day work: SMS team (Social Media Services Team).
Here you find the complete methodology list