Guy drives up to a McDonalds drive-through and says, "I'll take one." Then he pulls around to the other side, and is handed a coffee. This happens night after night. Eventually he decides that this is his last time going to Mickey Ds. Every time he asks for a burger he gets a coffee!
As ridiculous as this sounds, this is more or less how many, many brands, consultants and agencies are approaching social. Most social projects (RFPs etc) looks pretty similar. Give me a Facebook/Twitter/Blog/Community strategy. Give me a proposal for listening. Get me 1,000,000 followers or 3,000,000 fans. Because when we don't know what to ask for, we will rarely get what we want.
Social is a business strategy, Twitter and Facebook are tools. If you use Twitter and Facebook well, they can become platforms. But your goal is to drive business. Your business is not the same as mine. I make sprockets. You sell insurance. If our activation or proposals look the same, someone should be fired.If your team can't answer 80% of the questions below, it's time to rethink who you are hiring. If you can't answer 80% of the questions below, it's time to start thinking.
The "Social" Business Checklist
□ What is my business objective?
- Generating fans is not a business objective. Growing a CRM base is.
□ What is the business already doing to meet this objective?
□ What has the business tried in the past to meet this objective? What worked? What didn’t? Why?
□ What adjacent or otherwise related goals is the business already pursuing? How?
□ Has this brand engaged in social in the past? What worked? What didn’t? Why?
□ How are employees, employee groups, affiliates and adjacent business units active in social media? How can we set expectations for what is expected of them in this channel and related to this effort?
□ How is the brand currently perceived in social media?
□ What barriers will the team likely face in activating in social? This includes internal, legal/regulatory, external and customer challenges to success.
□ Is the brand already active in social? If so, where? How? How is this organized? Where does this effort fit across social?
□ How will social work together with all other channels to support and grow the business?
□ What are the implications of this activation on other related channels and communications?
Key Questions You Need Answers For
□ How are these tools and platforms the most effective and efficient means to drive these objectives?
□ How have other (related) businesses demonstrated the value with this type of execution in the past?
□ What implications will this activation have on my business in the near term?
□ What adjacent teams within the organization will be impacted by this activation? What commitments will we expect from them?
□ What are the long term implications of this activation to my business?
□ How will we measure our progress?
□ How often will we issue reports? In what format? To whom?
□ If this works, where should the brand go from here?
□ How will you communicate this success to key stakeholders?
□ How will you communicate the positive, negative and adjacent feedback to the appropriate parties?