Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HBR :: Yes, Your Social Media Strategy Needs Design

Yes, Your Social Media Strategy Needs Design - Conversation Starter -
The current state of "social media" for many businesses looks more like an episode of MacGyver than Apple's design process. Duct tape and bubble gum hold together fragile tactics such as Twitter accounts run by the summer college intern (nothing against college interns) or agency-generated Facebook fan pages that have few actual fans.

The article does layout some real problems. Most businesses want to be in social networks. It's a good move. However, what I have noticed is that most of us really don't have a clue what to do once there. I mean, we do fine with our personal social media presence. Then why do we fail when we try to replicate that success on behalf of our companies? I fully agree that we need design because, when I think about it, our personal success in social media sites neither happen overnight nor by accident.

The presence on line is just another step forward in our ever evolving personality. This is a designed process. So many people and experiences shaped us to be who we are today. Personality development and maintenance is said to be based on three axes, active-passive, pleasure-pain, and self-other. So why should we assume that a business is different? If a business can be legally considered a separate entity from its owners, it can also be considered as having its own personality. It has a vision, a mission, a 5 year plan, a 10 year plan so on and so forth. It chooses its friends and notes its enemies, while acquiring and merging in order to grow and build new alliances. Yet when it comes to social media, this personality is lost. It's usually reduced to a few random posts or tweets any spam bot can do. What we've been doing is just maintaining our presence without a strategy. Without a strategy we have no metrics. Without metrics we don't have measures of success or failure and without these measures, we can't really evolve our business's social media presence.