Vignette (recently acquired by Open Text) has published a useful review of social media, entitled “Social Media in the Enterprise: A Step-by-Step Roadmap for Success”.

Here are our top takeouts and top facts for you delight and delectation…

Top Takeouts

  • Social media is defined as content that is generated by users, versus content that has been created by a formal process lead by an organization
  • Social media by itself is not a strategy. Social media and Web 2.0 are new ways to connect people. Social media is a tool that should support a strategy: a marketing strategy, a customer service strategy, a knowledge management strategy, etc.
  • In addition to being used as a Marketing Communications Tool to generate leads, increase engagement and accelerate conversion, social media can be used for
    • Corporate Communications and PR Tool – Listening, generating awareness and influence
    • Customer Support Tool – Reducing time to resolution, incident rate, issue resolution rate
    • Product Development Tool – Ideation and co-development, increasing competitiveness
    • Knowledge Management Tool – Knowledge productivity, agility and efficiency, and retention
    • Human Resources Tool – Time to productivity (ramp-up), retention, career planning, recruitment
  • Social media is not new; early forms included online forums and bulletin board systems [and surveys, polls]
  • Social Media adds customer to employee, customer to customer and employee to employee [and employee to customer] into the communication mix.
  • Social media is not about technology. It is about people, authenticity and transparency
  • Don’t hire a blogging team or a customer service team that uses Twitter. Hire an change agent that will lead your organization
  • Participation is the 5th P of Marketing (where have I heard that before ;-))
  • Empowering millions of people to have a voice means the “signal to noise” ratio changes, clutter increases, and it is more difficult to cut through
  • In the age of social media, marketers need a content strategy – fresh, relevant and engaging content
  • Marketers shouldn’t try to create new communities.  Rather they should participate in an existing communities – fostering, enhancing [sponsoring], growing, promoting or even leading them.
  • A Road Map to Social Media Success has five steps
    • Step 1: People.  Set up a social media team/steering committee to lead the organization into this new space; involve legal, marketing, customer support, HR, Product Development and IT
    • Step 2: Build a Plan. Listen to what is being said in social media, look at how competitors and partners are using social media tools. Develop a short list of priority applications for social media tools in your organization, and a set of social media guidelines.
    • Step 3: Measurement. Hard ROI (money spent: money made/saved) is difficult so use softer measures.
      • Tactical Measures (Participation Levels) – Visitors, Re-tweets, Forum Messages, Blog Comments)
      • Emotional Measures (tonality, advocacy and sentiment of user content)
      • Business Objective Measures (Marketing (awareness, leads, conversion), Customer Support (time to resolution, number of incidents closed, costs), PR (awareness, sentiment), Product development (New ideas, requirements validation, feedback)..
    • Step 4: Resourcing: With the people, plan and metrics in place, it is time to get the right resources. These include hiring a social media strategist and building a team of change agents, securing a budget and getting the right social media platform.
    • Step 5: Promotion. As you launch your social media initiatives, it is important to think about a promotional plan – this should start with joining the existing conversation. Interact with the influencers you have identified and join the conversations about your product or your industry.

Top Facts (Vignette Business Survey Feb 2009 (200 Businesses – Average Revenue $330m))

  • 71% of organizations plan to increase their investments in social media during 2009. The average increase in investment is 40%
  • Only 12% of organizations would rate their Web 2.0 initiatives as effective
  • 40% of the surveyed organizations have no social media process or strategy in place. Only 22% have developed a strategy document.