Norman Ng

3 Progressive Social Media Engagement Strategies (Part 2)

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2012 at 14:44

Enterprise communications in this decade is likely to witness a strong and continued shift towards consolidating and evolution in social media communications. What this means in 2012 are that it’s not about whether enterprises should / should not adopt social media; but more about the “Quality of the Conversations”, and the extent and depth of stakeholder engagement.

Continuing from the “bottoms up” framework discussed in the preceding blog post, where we advocated enterprises in cultivating “social media” ambassadors to strenghten brand equities; this posts articulates the “HOW” to engage and cuitlvate a community of brand advocates. This will be especially relevant for organisations who already have embarked on the social media bandwagon, with significant efforts and resources put into this areas, and are asking the “What’s Next” in social media?

Essentially, we are looking at 3 progressive levels of engagement strategies, with each supporting varied effects on stakeholder experiences:

Phase 1 (Establishing Presence) – This forms the most rudimentary and basic level of engagement, staking a claim and opening platforms and channels on the social media landscape; with a basic profile. Typically, enterprises post some content, supplementing it’s official info dissemination channels (Think PR 101). But remember, it’s a blue ocean out there, and you’re merely one of the fishes out there…and you’ll hardly stand out if your social media communications stops short here.

Phase 2 (Deepening Relationships) – That’s why phase 2 is essential towards buiding qualitative conversations through sustained engagement efforts, and deploying social media customer relations management (SCRM). It’s about delivering a responsive and timely communications effort, continuing layers after layers of conversations with influencers and participants. It’s at this phase where you’re effectively not merely monologous posts / content contributions – but having quality two way conversations with your key influencers and audiences. 

Phase 3 (Incubating Communities) – We believe in the mantra of “Things Takes Time”, and in this instance, relationships take time to establish and strengthen. This is the ideal steady state in social media communications that enterprises should all aim to achieve, because chances are, your collective stakeholders are more compelled to believe what independent co-stakeholders are talking about you, rather than to the last cent that you’ve spent on a top down MarComm / publicity campaign. This is a phase where you consolidate your key influencers and tell them “folks, we value you, from the bottom of our hearts, and want to internalise you to share with the rest of the community on what you think about our brand and efforts”.

By the time enterprises reach the advanced phase towards incubating communities, they would have harnessed a war chest of brand advocates who would convey your brand as if it was their own, hedging downside reputation risks in times of a PR crisis. 

Moving forward, we should look forward to reflection and consolidating our social media efforts, and build a credible and compelling voice from within, converting brand ambassadors, towards delivering quality conversations in the social media landscape.


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