CIOs: Creating a Plan for Engaging with Social Media

Part 2 of our series, What CIOs Need to Know About Social Media.

A post on Mashable from a year and a half ago is still relevant to enterprise CIOs grappling with the impact of social media on the enterprise. In the post, Lon S. Cohen lists seven things CIOs should be considering. We’re taking a closer look at each of the item in Cohen’s framework. In this blog, we continue our closer look at Cohen’s first item.

  • Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards
  • Review and Approval Processes
  • Managing Corporate Reputation
  • Versions and Update Controls
  • Impact On Operating Environment
  • Establishing Project Priority
  • Compliance

Web 2.0 Content and Presentation Standards, part 2

Creating a social media engagement plan starts with understanding your community – your audience, which might include employees, partners, prospects, customers, and the general public. Ensure that your plan covers the following topics, excerpted from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (being slowly syndicated via this blog):

      • Guiding principles— Lay out your target audiences, target outcomes, what you are offering, your key messages and success metrics. Example guiding principles:
        • Relationships sustain our community. Nurture them.
        • Action is more important than endless discussion
        • Our members are at the center of our community, and control its development
      • Channels— Determine how you’re going to use complementary on- and offline channels (print, TV, other social networks, ads, etc.) to let people know about and get them to contribute to your community. Examples of complementary channel use:
        • Include your social media presence in PSAs
        • Link your Facebook status to Twitter
        • Run a print promotion for a Facebook-based event
      • Activities— What kinds of actions can your community members take on your site and elsewhere? You’ll want to make these actions easy to find and easy to accomplish. Design your calls to action and the high-value interactions you are trying to encourage accordingly. Examples of activities:
        • Tell a friend
        • Like your Facebook page
        • Invite a friend to an event
      • Incentives— Consider offering prizes, points, rebates and other benefits to community members who visit, contribute, or help other members use the site. Examples of incentives:
        • Special achievement badges members can display on their blogs
        • Two-for-one admission to your next event
        • Enter those who comment in a prize drawing
      • Roles and responsibilities— Determine who is responsible for content creation, animation, promotion, outreach, tech support and other functions. Design the production and approval workflows. Ensure that all participants are well-informed about this process. Example roles and responsibilities:
        • Management funds the social media effort
        • The community manager manages social day-to-day activities
        • Outreach crafts the messages for distribution via social media
      • Messages— Well in advance of launch of your social media effort, draft all the on-site and e-mail messages you’re likely to need as you get started. Example messages:
        • Use AddThis[1] to add the ability for Website visitors to comment about you on social media
        • Embed YouTube videos on your Website and ask for comments
        • Include announcement of your social media effort in email newsletters
      • Timeline — Any well-run project needs a plan that specifies what gets done when. Be sure to include all activities, including a periodic evaluation of success metrics
      • Do’s and don’ts— Create a style guide for your staff to use in order to present a consistent voice. Be sure to address at least the following:
        • How often will the content be updated and posted to social media sites?
        • What type of content will be posted (topics, categories)?
        • How and who will approve content?
        • How will the site look? How is your logo to be displayed? What is the color palette?
        • How will you ensure the site is usable? Accessible (Section 508 compliant)?
        • How will you launch? We recommend a gradual, soft launch so you have time to work out the kinks.
        • How will you collect and safeguard Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?[2]
          • Does the site have privacy and legal disclaimers? What kinds of content need legal review? What legal jurisdictions do you need to take into account?
          • Ages of community members? Do they need to be 18 or over? How do you filter out the kids?

There’s a lot more about pre-launch activities in the Community Building Checklist section in our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises. a soup-to-nuts, strategy to execution processes, procedures and how-to advice manual. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

Tomorrow: a deeper dive on the second element, Review and Approval Processes in the post CIO’s Social Media Review and Approval Processes.

[1] AddThis:

[2] Definition: