5 Steps to Avoid Social Fragmentation

Here’s a social media problem facing a lot of brands.

Oops, I've gone and broken my social media.

They have a Facebook page.  A Twitter account.  Several videos have been posted to YouTube.  Some guy in technical is blogging.  The website was built in the dot-com era. Bloggers are writing about you.

Each one of these social assets is “owned” by a different department.  No one talks to each other. Everyone is protective and territorial.

We can call this “Social Fragmentation.”

It isn’t a surprise given the rocket-speed of social media adoption by brands.  Different departments opened different social media channels.  They all have their own methodology and practices and now, well, many brands don’t even have an accurate audit of all their social media assets or any control over how they are being operated or who internally (or externally) are running them.

So what is a vice president of Marketing or Corporate Communications to do?

What brands need to do is assess, organize, strategize, coordinate and measure.

1. Assess

Remember when tactics used to follow strategy?

The social web exploded so quickly that tactics came first.  Brands started to launch channels on every social network imaginable.  Some worked, some didn’t.  Some thrived.  Some were abandoned.  Some were shutdown.  Isn’t it time for your brand to figure out exactly what social media assets it actually owns?  How many Twitter accounts?  Who is blogging on your behalf?  How many photos are on Flickr?  Is that YouTube video your property?

Conducting a brand audit to discover ALL of your social media assets is job one.

2. Organize

Once you have a comprehensive audit it is time to organize.  What audiences are the channels reaching?  Are those the right channels for those audiences?  Do you need to close some?  Open others?  What is the tone?  The messages?  What are the rules of engagement?  Do you have a social media policy?

3. Strategize

Once social media has been assessed and organized then it is time to create the strategic framework. The strategy will guide the content creation and how the brand will engage through social media.  This is where a brand will outline what it wants to achieve.  It needs to answer questions like: What are your overall goals?  What functions are social media going to be supporting (marketing, advertising, communications, customer service or all of the above)?  What kind of returns are you seeking?  And most of all – how are you going to make it happen?

4. Coordinate

Once the strategy has been created, it’s time to get to the nitty gritty.  The tactics.  Strategy is crucial, but without a practical and tactical approach then even the best strategy is destined to fail.

5. Measure

What’s the point of a brand engaging in social media – creating content, engaging in conversations, mixing it up with advocates (and badvocates) – unless you can measure the results?

What do you think?  Is social fragmentation happening at your brand?  How are you keeping on top of social media?


Photo by Essygie (via Flickr)

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  1. Le web sémantique est un enfermement progressif « Place du Marché - March 31, 2012

    […] risque de fragmentation sociale online existe : reprenons le cas de Google et des moteurs de recherche en général. Leur fonctionnement optimal […]

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