Friday, April 15, 2011

Live for today, plan for tomorrow

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”-Unknown

We have nearly finished the book Engage, written by Brian Solis, and have been flooded with a wealth of information from this man.  When our class was presented with the idea of “social media”, putative to my nature, I was ready to jump in and take over the Internet. Until reading this book, I had absolutely no idea about all of the planning and meticulous detail and thought that this new realm of media mandates. We have been lectured, time and time again, that “…listening and monitoring count for everything nowadays.” (Solis) We are urged, through our text, to practice social listening before we engage because this role serves as the “eyes, ears and heart of the organization.” Thankfully, Solis equips us with a plethora of tools, which he thoroughly explains, act as our “training wheels” before we are able to race in the marathon. There are three additional factors that our reading highlights in the process of creating a social media plan. 

1. The Conversation Prism acts as our blueprint and teaches us the art of listening, learning, and sharing. When we build the bridge between brand and market, we are required to humanize the story of the company, listen, and respond to input we gather. The prism below is a conglomeration of all the different channels to which we are able to market and connect with our customers. 
Brian Solis and JesseThomas   

2.The Social Marketing Compass points a brand in an experimental and physical direction in which they will effectively connect with their targeted audience. At the center of the compass is the brand, followed by the players, the platform, channels, and last emotions. 

3. Social Customer Relationship Management (sCRM) is no longer a bug which companies can ignore. Social networks have ushered in a new era of relationships which businesses, if they wish to be successful, must be held responsible for. Jon Swartz, of USA Today, said, “Social media is a natural extension of customer service.” The management of these relationships are vital.

Let’s say that you are a business wanting to engage online. You have listened, observed, and taken notes of all the “how to’s” and “according to this” in the world.  You have thought through Brian Solis’ Brand Reflection Cycle, and established your brand persona and direction. At this point, you should be somewhat familiar with the channels of social media you wish to utilize. What is next? We are nearly at the end of our book, however, Solis still urges us that we need to plan, plan, plan. I leave you with this quote by personal time management author and expert Alan Lakein,

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

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