How to: Be Successful in Social Media in 2013

Warning – this is not the usual social media success post. Keep reading to get to the root…

So you’ve read about what your brand resolutions should be, what social media goals you should consider, and what to do and not do over and over again…but do you really know what your brand needs to be successful in social media this upcoming year? I have three specific items your brand should have on its checklist (if it’s not on there already)…

1) Hire Well

It’s not just about what you do on Facebook and Twitter and the content you produce, it’s the people helping to strategize said content and how it’s utilized across channels. When hiring your team, consider your culture, your goals, and where you want that team to go. Do these new potential employees fit your brand needs and especially the culture your brand has been developing?

2) Hire Native

I cannot emphasize this enough – hire native, hire native, and hire native. By native I mean – digitally native. Do you want to teach your employees social media and blogging or do you want them to crash through the door with their own ideas, know it like the back of their hands, and challenge your team to think more creatively, think more personally, and bring it to another level? Enough said.

3) Do What You Preach

Unfortunately there are one too many brands who offer advice and preach to be social media savvy and then they don’t hold their own. Eat the dog food and show your brands you are an expert through your actions, and not just your blog posts. Your audience will trust you more, come to your brand for your content, and believe in your brand if you prove it. Just look at Amex who isn’t a social media expert per say, but they started rocking it across social media channels, using guest bloggers to bring in expertise, and offering their small businesses the content they need to be successful in their markets. Now that’s the ticket.



Social Media and the Workplace

In my MBA Organizational Behavior course, we collected data on the use of social media in the workplace: If people use it, how often they use it, for what purpose, and if their workplace has policies for such use and how that impacts their views on that company.

Of the 45 people surveyed (in the 20 to 40 year old range):

- 100% have used social media

- 53% have access at work

- 42.5% use it for 10 to 30 minutes while 25% use it for over an hour while at work

- 64.5% for personal reasons, 35.5% just for a lunch break, while the rest use for actual work purposes such as managing and promoting the brand (Pie Chart of Results)

- 45% believe it boosts productivity versus 47% believe it reduces said productivity

In this survey group, it appeared those who did not have access were normally individuals working in a financial/investment firm where they are more likely to prohibit rather than limit/restrict use. The individuals which have social media policies at their workplace and limit (rather than prohibit) such usage, are understanding why such policies are in place because employees may abuse such use, there is a chance of liability, etc. However, some of these social media users feel there is a lack of trust from management when such limitations are placed upon their use. Where is the fine line between policies that prohibit and those that limit and still maintain employee trust and faith? Companies like IBM have a great policy which allows its employees to blog and use social media in order to inspire their innovation. Others are still trying to determine their policies, but just as any other tool in the workplace which can assist in profit, social media is another tool which can be used but management should provide training, lead by example, and trust employees to use these “tools” productively and with dutiful care.