Paying Respect to the King of Social Media, Part 3

Paying Respect to the King of Social Media, Part 3

Dave Ewart and I are continuing our discussion about thinking through the content challenges of social media. In this posting, we’ll talk about what I have seen as the biggest challenge of all: getting spokespeople to participate and keeping them motivated. I have seen social media strategies start with a bang and then fade quickly as the product champions lost their enthusiasm and got buried in their day jobs. But like most problems, mitigating the motivation risk involves applying both adequate resources and appropriate incentives. Here is my list of solutions:

  1. Encourage as many people as practical to play a role in social media
  2. Share the social media strategy and show them the ROI
  3. Encourage your spokespeople to keep their postings short. Less is often more in social media.
  4. Have writers available to help write and polish, so that spokespeople can focus on ideas rather than finished products
  5. Give them tools that make them more productive. For example, Dave has found that enterprise Tweeting tools can be particularly valuable, since they allow knowledgeable individuals to post either as themselves or as the company. These tools can also enforce review workflows.
  6. Create an “editorial calendar” around big marketing initiatives. Yes, I know that structure seems to fly in the face of the free-flowing nature of social media. However, it also gets people focused and helps them to generate ideas.
  7. Come up with review processes that are reasonable. For example, one of my clients gave the VP of Marketing 24 hours to review a posting. If he didn’t provide feedback by the end of the 24 hours, he agreed that the posting would go live anyway.
  8. Make sure that social media contributions are an explicit MBO for key spokespeople

Tip: Build social media coverage into your activities. When you are attending a conference or launching a new feature, orchestrate content to align around your key messages in conversational tones. Encourage others to contribute and consider holding a “social” interview on a Facebook event wall or on Twitter.