We need a Social Media Architecture.
Based on field work with several major European and US brands, this talk is about a critical problem facing any organization of size and the methodology we have successfully used to address the problem. In this regard it is (1) based on real and current business needs and (2) very prescriptive.
Take one look at any large brand and you find literally dozens of social sites that lie abandoned with no active engagement. Many are redundant, fracturing the same potential audience into separate, so-called “communities”. Further, the majority of these sites are isolated, without any formal linkage to a brands’ other sites where customers might find value. And the bigger the organization, the bigger the problem. In one recent project we found our client had close to 150 Facebook pages and over 65 YouTube channels and 100 Twitter feeds.
This is unsupportable and counterproductive. While most companies and agencies are still talking about successful on-off initiatives the terms of success are shifting from “pages” and campaigns to coordination and connectivity of customer experience.
The solution is a social media architecture.
A Social Media Architecture is defined as “A structure that brings harmony, utility and durability to the diverse elements of an organization’s social media presence”
A proper Social Media Architecture answers the following questions:
What is my current blueprint? —Techniques and tips for visualizing your complete social media presence across all platforms
What communities will I serve? —How to identify unique communities that you can serve.
What needs will I focus on? —Communities vary, needs do not. Discovering the five need states common to all communities and how to prioritize which need states you should focus on.
What is our “Link and Like” structure? —How to design your social site map so customers can navigate (link) to the communities where they belong (like).
How do I design for durability? —Paradoxical as it sounds for social media, everyone should be designing for a durable architecture. I will introduce a basic checklist to ensure the architecture remains sound over time.
Joshua Michéle Ross is SVP and Director, Digital Strategy for Europe with Fleishman Hillard, a global communications firm. Josh is focused on how technologies enable social transformation, innovation and opportunity within business. Prior to FH, Josh was Vice President with O’Reilly Media where he delivered strategic consulting, speaking engagements and hands-on innovation labs to help companies get to the future first.
Joshua has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University and a regular speaker at conferences related to technology and digital strategy. He is a regular columnist on Forbes.com and blogger on O’Reilly Radar, and has appeared on NBC and CBS Evening News as a commentator on the impact social technologies are having on business. His writings have also appeared on Mashable.com, Social Computing Journal and Fast Forward.